Welsh Government unveils £10m fund to tackle water pollution from abandoned metal mines


The Welsh Government has announced nearly the allocation of £10 million of funding to improve water quality across Wales and tackle water pollution issues from abandoned metal mines.

The Welsh-sponsored government body Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will receive £4.5m for a metal mine cleaning programme, focusing on the most polluting abandoned mines to tackle water pollution issues.

Abandoned metal mines are one of the principal causes of failures of water standards in Wales due to discharges from underground workings and leaching of metals from spoil heaps.

There are 1,300 abandoned metal mines in Wales, which have been estimated to impact more than 600 kilometres of river reaches.

Some 15 smaller-scale projects will also benefit from the funding to tackle areas affected by increased levels of pollutants and improve marine biodiversity.

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “We are determined to improve our water quality across Wales and tackle the very real problem of pollution in our waterways, in particular from abandoned metal mines.”

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