Pit Lakes Closure Planning Workshop

1 September 2019 | Wisteria Room, The Westin | Perth, Western Australia


Pit lakes are a key feature of many open cut operations globally and have typically been poorly considered in the mine closure planning process. Multitudes of legacy pit lakes worldwide have drawn attention from stakeholders, particularly regulators and impacted communities, as to the liability these large final landforms can present.

This workshop will provide an overview of mine pit lakes; what they are, how they form, their types and characteristics. The workshop will then introduce attendees to key issues to be addressed in during mine closure planning to increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation and relinquishment of operations featuring pit lakes. Examples of issues and potential management strategies and tools to address them are given with reference to presenter’s experiences in Australia and overseas. The concept of repurposing end pit lakes as beneficial end uses will also be explored.

This workshop compliments the conference field trip to the Collie Pit Lake District hosted by Dr McCullough.

Click to view the preliminary programme (subject to change)

08:30Welcome, overview and introduction to pit lakes Dr Cherie McCullough, Mine Lakes Consulting
09:00Key issues with pit lakes: Dr Cherie McCullough
Australia and international examples
10:00Morning break
10:30Key opportunities with pit lakes: Dr Cherie McCullough
Australia and international examples
11:00Water balance strategies Dr Cherie McCullough
13:00Interactive break-out session Dr Cherie McCullough
14:00Pit lakes water balance and water quality modelling: Theory Dr Devin Castendyk, Golder Associates Inc., USA
15:00Pit lake water balance and water quality modelling: Case studies Dr Devin Castendyk
15:30Afternoon break
16:00Lessons learned Dr Devin Castendyk
16:45Synthesis and closing Dr Cherie McCullough
17:00Workshop close

Workshop Facilitator and Presenter

Dr Cherie D. McCullough
Director, Principal Scientist
Mine Lakes Consulting, Australia

Cherie has over 20 years’ experience in research and consulting, focussed on environmental management issues, with primary skills in geochemistry, hydrogeology ecotoxicology, ecology and environmental management. Her key expertise is in mining and the environment, particularly mine closure planning. Cherie is recognised internationally as a leading international expert on mine closure planning and mine pit lakes and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and books. Cherie also makes regular presentations to government and professional bodies on mine closure and has helped develop closure regulatory guidance for Western Australia, South Australia, the Commonwealth of Australia, PNG, Canada and APEC.

Workshop Presenter

Dr Devin Castendyk
Senior Geochemist
Golder Associates Inc., USA

Devin has over 20 years’ experience researching the geochemistry, hydrogeology, physical limnology, and closure of mine pit lakes. Devin has led field research programmes on oil sands pit lakes in Alberta and coal mine pit lakes in Pennsylvania, as well as field research on natural lakes in Guatemala and Antarctica.  He supervised the development of the INAP Pit Lakes Database and was a contributing author to both the Global Acid Rock Drainage (GARD) Guide and the CEMA End Pit Lake Technical Guidance Document for the Canadian oil sands industry.  In 2009, Devin was senior editor of the book Mine Pit Lakes: Characteristics, Predictive Modeling, and Sustainability, published by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. Devin has studied and modelled over 33 pit lakes in 5 countries, and has published over 12 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on pit lakes.