Conference Agenda

Cleaning Up
Tuesday, 13/July/2021:
9:50am - 12:20pm

Session Chair: Robert Vaughan
Location: Meeting Room 2

9:50am - 10:15am

A UK progress overview of Metal Mine Remedial Work

Peter Clive Stanley1, Potter Hugh2

1Natural Resources Wales, United Kingdom; 2Environment Agency, United Kingdom

10:15am - 10:40am

A GIS-Based Prioritisation Of Coastal Legacy Mine Spoil Deposits In England And Wales For Effective Future Management

Alex L. Riley1, Patrizia Onnis2, Elin Jennings2, Richard A. Crane2, Karen A. Hudson-Edwards2, Sean D.W. Comber3, Ian T. Burke4, Patrick Byrne5, Catherine J. Gandy6, Adam P. Jarvis6, William M. Mayes1

1Department of Geography, Geology and Environment, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK; 2Environment & Sustainability Institute and Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Penryn, TR10 9DF, UK; 3School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK; 4School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK; 5School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, L3 3AF, UK; 6School of Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK

Increases in coastal flooding and erosion due to climate change threaten many coastal mine waste deposits in the UK. As such, a robust approach to prioritising sites for management is required. A spatial dataset of 9094 mine spoil deposits in England and Wales was analysed against coastal erosion and flood projections to identify deposits most at-risk. Of these, 58 were at risk of tidal flooding and 33 of coastal erosion over the coming century. Within the 10 highest-priority deposits, 426,283 m3 of spoil was at risk of release by erosion, with Blackhall Colliery (County Durham) being the largest predicted contributor.

10:40am - 11:05am

Emerging Opportunities for Improving Legacy Metal Mine Water Pollution Driven by Changing Regulatory Environments and Outputs of Novel Fieldwork in the Southern Uplands of Scotland.

Alan Yendell1, Patrick Byrne2

1Scottish Environment Protection Agency, United Kingdom; 2Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom

The Wanlock Water is polluted by relicts of a former lead mining and processing industry. The problem is well known but it has been difficult to justify funding bids for remediation due to uncertainty about the scale of the water quality improvement remediation works could deliver. Utilising opportunities created by a regulatory shift at SEPA, source apportionment work has been undertaken. Application of tracer injection and synoptic sampling in the Wanlock Water improved the understanding of key sources. Water quality improvements achievable by remediation have been estimated and the data now supports collaboration to develop potential solutions with multiple benefits.

11:05am - 11:30am

Challenges of Watershed Mine Drainage Characterisation and Remediation at Scale: Force Crag Base Metal Mine, Cumbria, UK

Catherine J Gandy1, Adam P Jarvis1, Nick Cox2, Stephen Lofts3, John Malley4, Arabella M L Moorhouse-Parry2, Katherine S Neate1, Barbara Palumbo-Roe5, Hugh A B Potter6

1Newcastle University, United Kingdom; 2The Coal Authority, United Kingdom; 3UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, United Kingdom; 4National Trust, United Kingdom; 5British Geological Survey, United Kingdom; 6Environment Agency, United Kingdom

The challenges of watershed mine drainage characterisation and remediation are reported. Whilst the substantial benefits of point source remediation under low flow conditions are demonstrated, the dominance of diffuse sources on instream zinc flux at higher flows limits the overall improvement in downstream water quality. A watershed approach to remediation is therefore required with consideration given to remediation of diffuse, as well as point, sources. The design and installation of infrastructure, such as flow-monitoring devices and boreholes, throughout the Force Crag mine watershed has enabled a comprehensive investigation of the nature and importance of the various pollution sources.

11:30am - 11:55am

Numerical Modelling of Mine Pollution to Inform Remediation Decision-making in Watersheds

Patrick Byrne1, Patrizia Onnis1,2, Robert L Runkel3, Ilaria Frau1, Sarah F L Lynch4, Aaron M L Brown5, Iain Robertson5, Paul Edwards6

1Liverpool John Moore's University, United Kingdom; 2University of Exeter, United Kingdom; 3U.S. Geological Survey, USA; 4AECOM Ltd. United Kingdom; 5Swansea University, United Kingdom; 6Natural Resources Wales

Prioritisation of mine pollution sources for remediation is a key challenge facing environmental managers. This paper presents a numerical modelling methodology to evaluate potential improvements in stream water quality from remediation of important mine pollution sources. High spatial resolution synoptic sampling data from a Welsh watershed were used to calibrate the OTIS solute transport model. Simulation of mine pollution remediation scenarios using OTIS revealed decreases in stream Zn concentrations between 9% and 62% under mean streamflow conditions. Remediation scenarios under low streamflow conditions were less effective (<1% to 17% decrease in Zn concentrations), due to diffuse and metal-rich groundwater inflows.

11:55am - 12:20pm

🎓 Source Apportionment of Trace Metals at the Abandoned Nantymwyn Lead-Zinc Mine, Wales

Aaron Martin Lawrence Brown1, Iain Robertson1, Rory P.D. Walsh1, Patrick Byrne2, Paul Edwards3, Tom Williams3

1Swansea University, United Kingdom; 2School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK; 3Natural Resources Wales, Faraday Building, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK

Abandoned metal mines cause longstanding stream pollution problems. The two streams at Nantymywn, Wales, the Nant y Bai and the Nant y Mwyn, cause the River Tywi to fail WFD standards for Zn for 35 km. In this study NaBr tracer dilution and synoptic water sampling, followed by ICP-MS laboratory analysis, were carried out in baseflow conditions along the Nant y Bai to identify and quantify sources of metals at high spatial resolution. Preliminary results enable Zn sources to be located, including one representing 34% of the stream Zn load, as well as areas of diffuse sources and attenuation.