Coal Mine Wastewater

Coal Mine Sector in Europe

Coal has been classified among the main fuels of the European economy – coal operations have offered employment opportunities in numerous regions in Europe

In 2020, Europe’s total hard coal production was 57 million tons. 95% of it was covered by Poland (source)

Environmental Impact of Coal Mining

Greenhouse Gases are released to the atmosphere
Vast amounts of saline wastewaters are discharged in waterways
The salinity of surface waters makes them unsuitable for municipal, agricultural or industrial purposes
The high load of contaminants in mine waters provokes significant changes in a natural aquatic environment, resulting even in the elimination of its flora and fauna

The Case of Poland

The new EU Green Deal foresees to make Europe climate neutral by 2050

Intending to attain the EU target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Poland’s govermment struck a deal with trade unions in September 2020 to gradually close its coal mines by 2049 [20].

Even though the coal mines are closing, the need for treatments of saline water from mining activities in Poland will continue to exist since not only the active ones but also the majority of the mines that are or will be abandoned have to be continuously dewatered.

These data were kindly provided by SEALEAU