Mine reclamation

KGHM’s operations do not end with the closure of mines. Mine reclamation processes and restoring mining areas to people and nature constitutes an important aspect of KGHM's environmental policy.  

KGHM applies standards that guarantee the safe and environmentally-friendly closure of mines, sandpits and other industrial facilities. The deposits, regardless of how mining is carried out (i.e. open pit versus underground) become depleted with time. At present the company is carrying out two reclamation operations: at the Podolsky mine in Canada, and the Carlota mine in the USA. The company is also preparing to close the Obora sand quarry in Poland.

KGHM works on developing reclamation plans many years ahead of planned site closures, in close cooperation with research and development institutions. An example of such work is the development plan for the still functioning Obora sand quarry that covers around 300 hectares. The plan envisages construction of a comprehensive sport and recreation centre with an artificial thermal lake. The facility will be built between 2017 - 2025.  

KGHM has completed reclamation of the Gilów tailings pond in Poland, which had been the main tailings facility for over 20 years, and today is a home for animals and plants. Moreover, since Gilów’s closure  in 1980 it has become a sanctuary for wetland birds. 

Similarly, the mining sites in the so-called Old Copper Basin in Poland, such as Lena or Konrad, were reclaimed for the natural environment, with the natural water conditions and previous areas of woodland being restored. 

The company also nurtures the areas around its facilities. For over 20 years, it has been developing the areas of the former protection zones of the Głogów and Legnica smelter/refineries. Presently, thanks to KGHM’s consistent efforts, most of these areas have been classified as woodland.