Mine-Scarred Lands Initiative Tool Kit: Overview of Technical Challenges and Resources
Tool Kit Links
Revitalizing former mines involves a number of technical challenges including, but not limited to the following:
Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)
Acid water discharge with elevated metal content seeps into streams. This can degrade ecosystems and threaten public water supplies.
Stockpiled Waste Rock and Tailings
Wastes from mining operations are often left behind in large gob piles or waste dumps. These can contribute to metal loading in streams and rivers.
Other mining-related contaminants may include chemicals from leaking containers left behind after a mine has closed, chemicals involved in mining operations such as cyanide and arsenic, and PCBs from electrical transformers used at mining operation sites. These can seep into the ground water and soil.
Degraded Physical Structures
Open shafts, rotting support structures, equipment, electrical transformers, and open pits pose a safety threat.
Rural mining communities often have complex runoff management issues and inadequate wastewater treatment and drinking water facilities.
Some mining properties are isolated in areas that are difficult to reach due to the topography or climatic conditions. These properties may be unable to connect to electrical power or other infrastructure systems.