World expert on acid lakes to speak at Southern Cross University

Published 3 October 2006

Southern Cross University’s Centre for Acid Sulfate Soil Research (CASSR) will host a seminar on Friday (6th October) by a leading world expert on acid waterways – freshwater lakes and dams that have been damaged by poor mining practices.

Professor Stefan Peiffer, Professor of Hydrology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, will present his seminar on ‘Biogeochemical Processes in the Sediments of Acidic Mining Lakes’.

Acidic mining lakes are common in many regions of Germany and pose considerable environmental problems similar to those presented by acid sulfate soil landscapes in Australia.

Australia also has many lakes that have been turned acidic because of poor mining practices, including a tailings dam at the Mt Carrington mine at Drake, in northern NSW.

Some tailings dams can become highly acidic, and may pose an environmental hazard. The tailings may also contain cyanide, which is added to crushed ore to leach out metals such as gold.

Professor Peiffer’s research team at the University of Bayreuth are at the forefront of the research aimed at understanding the biogeochemical processes that operate in acid mining lake landscapes.

The seminar will be held in S.203 from 12 noon to 12.45pm and members of the public are welcome to attend.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.