Future Climate Change Impact on Pit Lake Water Balance

Mine pit lakes result from open cut mining activities and will continue to grow in number and size as the mining industry expands. Understanding the pit lake, mine water balance is critical both for mine planning and operations, and for a post-closure regional sustainable development. The planning challenges is exacerbated by modelling and climate change-related uncertainties, for example in relation to whether a pit lake may become a liability in future due to climate change impacts. 

This project aims at improving understanding of the water balances of pit lakes, and uncertainty in these water balances, including the potential impacts of climate change. This research will help the mine industry to select pit lake hydrology models that minimise uncertainty in predicted levels and associated risk as far as practicable; to identify the key data that can be collected to reduce uncertainty and risk; and, to understand the relevance of climate change in context of other elements of uncertainty and risk.

A potential practical application of this research is establishing if pit lakes can be used beneficially for economic activities after mine closure, such as agricultural, recreational, energy-producing and water supply, and the risks stemming from limitations in climate data, hydrological data, and modelling uncertainty.


After graduation from Ardhi University, Ben worked for one year as  assistant project engineer at KIMPHIL Konsult where he works focused in Carrying out feasibility studies of different environmental, Irrigation and gas projects. Ben has also worked as assistant lecturer at St Augustine University of Tanzania (2020-2021) department of Civil engineering in water section. 


As part of this PhD I will be collaborating with The Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRCTime)


UQ Graduate School (UQ Research Training Scholarship  2021-2024), CRCTime Top up Scholarship


Professor Neil McIntyre & Dr Carlos Miraldo Ordens