Investigation into the utilisation and exploitation of abandoned mining areas, with a recommended plan for remediation and subsequent use of the New Mill Site, Roseworthy, Cornwall, UK

Dominic WELLS

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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The usage of remediated mine sites is common around the World. Such is the ubiquity of these sites that local residents may often be unaware of their proximity to a former mine site. Especially if sufficient time has passed and/or if the remediation process was carried out in a highly effective manner. The process of remediating disused mine sites can be approached in a number of different ways and the methods will vary depending on a number of different factors, chief among which are economical and geographic. As a result, different countries will also vary their methods of remediation to accommodate these different factors. Many countries now have adopted far more sustainable methods of remediation in keeping with GSR principles. Previously China relied primarily on mechanical excavation in order to remediate its former mining areas due to the low cost of the operation. Now however, the country has made more investment into more sustainable methods, including the commonly used technique of combining multiple methods to accommodate the different characteristics of a mine area. This technique has been used in other parts of the World such as Europe and the USA with great success having been introduced in recent decades. This investigation has analysed the differences between different countries remediation methods and the factors that affect these differences as well as the different remediation methods themselves. In addition, the contamination site of Roseworthy, Cornwall, UK has been used as a hypothetical case study to recommend a remediation plan and subsequent reuse of the land. This area has been found to contain highly elevated levels of arsenic in the sub-soil due to the previous use of the site as an As processing facility. There are plumes of contamination in three major spots, upstream and downstream of the calciner in the NE and around the stack in the centre west of the site. This investigation has recommended the more highly contaminated area downstream of the calciner should undergo encapsulation to prevent mobilisation of the concentrated As and the remaining contamination should undergo mechanical excavation and reuse as aggregate material in construction. This investigation then goes on to recommend the subsequent reuse of the Roseworthy site for environmental monitoring undertaken by the nearby Camborne School of Mines (CSM) as an academic asset. Sampling of the area every three months would provide a representative image of how the contamination is spreading through the area in reaction to the remediation efforts. In particular focus on the encapsulated section of contamination as this area is the most potentially harmful to the environment and is proximal to the water system.
Translated title of the contributionInvestigation into the utilisation and exploitation of abandoned mining areas, with a recommended plan for remediation and subsequent use of the New Mill Site, Roseworthy, Cornwall, UK
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Moser, Peter, Supervisor (internal)
Award date29 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

embargoed until null


  • both economic and academic
  • abandoned mining areas

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