Pasminco Cockle Creek

The remediation and redevelopment of this site included the management of a myriad of issues including threatened flora and fauna, major soil and groundwater contamination, mining leases and mine subsidence and industrial archaeology.


Location

  • New South Wales, Australia

Sector

Service

  • Ecology
  • Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Management
  • Contaminated Land and Soil Remediation
  • (View all)

Client

  • Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter

Project Status

  • Completed


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.

 

Comprehensive Services

 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
  • Heritage
  • 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.

Surface
190 HA
Tonnes of material removed
2,000,000

Valuable Outcomes

The demolition of the lead and zinc smelter’s plant and associated buildings was completed in October 2006. This allowed remediation works to commence. WSP managed the removal of 2 million tons of contaminated material. Some contaminated material remains on site in a containment cell that has been capped and will be turned into playing fields.

 

Completed in phases, the whole remediation project was finished in 2015.

 

In the first six years that we worked on the project, WSP had virtually no complaints about site activities from the community. As the remediation of the site neared completion, the community became more involved in planning and other non-site issues.