Reclamation of lands disturbed by mining activities in Bulgaria

I. Kirilov, M. Banov*

Institute of Soil Science, Agrotechnologies and Plant Protection, 7 Shousse Bankya, 1080 Sofia, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 5 August 2016; accepted for publication 7 November 2016)

Abstract. Disturbed by the mining industry area in Bulgaria is about 24.113 ha of which only 8.253 ha are reclaimed. Reclamation of disturbed areas covers a complex of engineering, technical, ameliorative, agricultural, forestry and other activities, which aim at restoration of the disturbed terrains and their re-entry into economic turnover in accordance with environmental conditions and area landscape. All disturbed lands as well as their adjacent areas that have completely or partially lost productivity as a result of the negative impact of mining activities and land damage are subject to reclamation. Land reclamation is a two-step process which includes: technical reclamation and biological reclamation. Technical reclamation is performed by the land owner and covers cleaning and preparation of the terrain, leveling, final formation and laying a humus soil layer on site by adding appropriate “improvers” (e.g. fertilizers, texture enhancers, etc.). Biological reclamation covers restoration of the productivity of the disturbed areas. Reclamation technologies applied in Bulgaria as a whole have led to a state of these territories that requires both maintenance and search for new ways of integration of the reclaimed landscapes with modern economic activities. The aim of the study is analysis and applying reliable modern practices that ensure good results in visual qualities of landscape and more options for future use of the reclaimed land.