Pit Lake Sustainability in Australia: What is it and How do I Get it?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Natural Sciences




Mccullough, C. D., & Lund, M. A. (2006). Pit Lake sustainability in Australia: what is it and how do I get it?. Proceedings of AUSIMM. (pp. 323-330). Australia. The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Conference proceeding available here.


Due to operational and regulatory practicalities, pit lakes will continue to be legacies of many open-cut mining lease relinquishments. Unplanned or inappropriate management of these significant geographical features may lead to a short-term liability to all stakeholders during mining operations, or to ongoing liability to the local community and environment following lease relinquishment. However, the potential for pit lakes to provide benefit to companies, communities and the environment is frequently unrecognised and yet may be a vital contribution to the sustainability of the open-cut mining industry. Improved remediation technologies are offering more avenues for pit lake end use than ever before, at the same time mining companies, local communities and regulatory authorities are also becoming more aware of the benefit these water resources have to offer. Sustainable pit lake management aims to better minimise short and long term pit lake liabilities, and yet also to maximise short and long term pit lake opportunities as well.