Former pit mines can reintegrate with nature providing habitat and potential recreation sites
Former pit mines that become lakes can be anything from a public safety hazard to useful sites for recreation. We helped BHP understand the environmental values of their Yarrie 10 Pit Lake, a historic iron ore pit located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Working with legacy mine pits and landform design is challenging due to remote locations, difficult terrain, and limited baseline information. Our team successfully navigated these issues by completing a desktop review, integrated with hydrological and biological investigations.
We developed a 2D conceptual flow model and landform designs to improve ecohydrological conditions. Our findings revealed the pit lake had moderate existing environmental values and provided several recommendations to improve this.
Our recommendations aimed to increase the shoreline habitat within the pit lake and to maintain the hydrological regime—maximising the environmental values for mine closure and creating a self-sustaining, diverse future wetland. No matter the status of a mine-site, it is always part of the environment. In being decommissioned, new opportunities arise.
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