Making the Lake Do the Work

An innovative method to neutralize acidic water in flooded open-cast mines uses natural circulation to accomplish the task, with low cost and high efficiency

Lignite can be successfully extracted from open-cast operations only if the area’s ground water level is lowered below the coal seam. This has a strong influence on the region’s water balance. Depending on the chemical nature of the overburden, the ground water that often rises again to a higher level after the cessation of mining in the pit may become acidic due to pyrite weathering. Germany’s Federal Mining Act (BBergG) stipulates that operators carry out rehabilitation measures on the surfaces areas of former mines. This also applies to the lakes they produce.

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