Due to operational and regulatory practicalities, pit lakes will continue to be common legacies of mine lease relinquishments. Unplanned or inappropriate management of these geographical features can lead to both short- and long-term liability to mining companies, local communities, and the nearby environment during mining operations or after 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. Sustainable pit lake management aims to minimise short and long term pit lake liabilities and maximise short and long term pit lake opportunities. Improved remediation technologies are offering more avenues for pit lakes resource exploitation than ever before, at the same time mining companies, local communities, and regulatory authorities are becoming more aware of the benefit these resources can offer.
McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2006). Opportunities for sustainable mining pit lakes in Australia. Mine Water and the Environment, 25, 220–226.