A heap of post-mining waste in Libiąż, Lesser Poland, will become a natural testing ground in September this year. Scientists will plant hundreds of plants there to check which of them are best suited for the recultivation of landfills and areas degraded by industry.
Scientists and industrial partners from Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic also participate in the international research project, coordinated by the Central Mining Institute in Katowice. On the Polish side, in addition to GIG, Tauron Wydobycie, which owns, among others, got involved in the project. Janina mine in Libiąż.
The research is expected to result in the development of new methods of reclamation of heaps, landfills and other degraded areas. It’s about selecting the right plants that will effectively greenen such areas, but also about properly preparing the soil for them – thanks to this, the plants will be able to grow in places where mining or energy waste was stored.
The project will test various types of soil mixtures obtained from waste biomass and post-production waste from the Sobieski and Janina mines belonging to the Tauron group and from power plants. Scientists want to obtain soil parameters that will neutralize the natural acidity of waste accumulated in heaps. The experimental site in Libiąż will provide the opportunity to monitor both soil and water as well as various physicochemical parameters of the substrate.
The heap will contain both dry and thermophilic plant species, meadow plants, as well as shrubs and moisture-loving plants planted in places where rainwater accumulates. The project will culminate in workshops devoted to the technology developed as a result of these experiences. Scientists also want to develop rules for the valuation of services for the recultivation of heaps and degraded areas.
“We will also prepare tools to compare different variants of recultivation and development of the waste dump area based on implementation costs and valuation of ecosystem services,” said Dr. Hab., head of the project at GIG. engineer Alicja Krzemień, quoted in Monday’s press release from Tauron Wydobycie.