Mining areas

We evaluate the condition of the mining areas prior to maintenance and give an overview of previous maintenance works of mining areas, as well as experiences and data collected during them. We will develop solutions to convert artificial bodies of water, with good ecological potential, into nature identical and draw conclusions on how areas that have been in economic use, can again become beneficial to society as part of the circular economy. We will perform studies on the northeastern corner of the Aidu quarry, in the Ubja quarry, in tranche No 13 of the Narva quarry and in the Sirgala extracting permit area, of the Viivikonna quarry.

The overview of pilot areas will be compiled, by the end of 2020, based on previous studies.

The environmental monitoring of the observed pilot areas of the Aidu and Narva quarry tranche No 13, will be performed by the Enefit Kaevandused AS, but the monitoring will be limited to the taking of isolated water samples and monthly measurements of water levels. There are no usable monitoring stations in these pilot areas in the database of the Estonian Nature Information System (EELIS). The monitoring bore holes that once existed have been liquidated, during the conducting of mining works.

The area of the Narva quarry tranche No 13 has been forested with pine and birch cuttings, in the process of biological maintenance. An area of 3.8 square kilometres has been biologically maintained. The common pine cultures cover 60-70% of the total forested area and the white birch cultures 30-40%. A water body has been formed in the former extraction tranches, which is known as the “Rästikmetsa Lake” and in the areas of the quarry heap, new small wetlands and small water bodies have emerged. The chemical condition of the water body can be considered as good, based on the isolated samples taken in 2019 from the natural flowing drainage of the water system of the Narva quarry tranche 13.

In the years 1960-2014 approximately 2 500 hectares of forest have been planted in the Aidu quarry. Pines were planted to the extent of 83% and birch cultures to the extent of 13.8%. The intensity of other tree species is small. The initially established pine forests, in some forest allocations have through succession been replaced by birch forests. There are by now, areas within the forested areas of Aidu, where a large number of large game live, such as bear, deer, boar and roe deer.

A new waterscape has emerged in the area, after the closure of the Aidu quarry, known as the “Aidu Fjords”. The chemical condition of the water body can be considered as good, based on the isolated samples taken in 2019 from the natural flowing drainage of the water system of Aidu, with the exception of nickel, which in all three water samples taken, exceeds the limit value (4 µg/l), of its annual average surface water. The condition of the water bodies of the Aidu rowing channel would be poor, based on the nickel content. It became apparent, on the observations of 23.09.2019, at the Aidu area that the colour of the water body at the roadside, at the northern end of the extraction tranche had changed. The colour change could have been caused by sediments separated from materials, carried to the water body and its banks.

The eastern part of the Sirgala-Viivikonna pilot area, together with the old underground mine, has already to a large extent been maintained. Mining, in the coming years, will also be ceased in the southwestern part. A system of tranche water bodies will emerge, as expected, in the pilot area of Sirgala-Viivikonna that is comparable in size to the Aidu quarry. It is remarkable that already today, small bodies of water have developed there.

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Done Planned
Studies of mining areas 2020 2021 2022 2023