The Pasminco Cockle Creek site is approximately 13 kilometres’ south-west of Newcastle, two kilometres north of Lake Macquarie and adjacent to the town of Boolaroo in New South Wales. The company started lead smelting operations there in 1897, making it the Hunter Region’s first heavy industrial site. They closed the lead and zinc smelter in 2003.
The site is one of Australia’s largest demolition projects. The remediation and redevelopment of this site included the management of a myriad of issues. These included threatened flora and fauna, major soil and groundwater contamination, mining leases and mine subsidence and industrial archaeology.
In late 2003, WSP began to develop and manage bespoke planning and remediation strategies. We also identified future land uses acceptable to the authorities and nearby township.
We carried out extensive site assessments and managed a diverse team of more than 80 specialist consultants, both internal and external. Our studies included:
- Environmental and geotechnical investigations
- Flora and fauna
- Industrial archaeology
- Visual analysis
- Urban design
The project also involved a great deal of stakeholder consultation, from the highest levels of government to the residents of 2,000 homes surrounding the site. Technical challenges included capturing and treating contaminated groundwater on site.