Mine water management

The success or failure of a mining project is often linked to site water management, or the lack of it. Risks to a project’s success include tailings dam failures during storm events, slope failures related to elevated pore pressures, water in blast holes leading to inefficient blasting (adding costs and environmental impacts), lack of process water, and excessive closure costs.

To improve the long-term success of projects, mine water management should be integrated with other disciplines as part of the ongoing strategy during the design stage of mining. As the opening article points out, overall water management on a mine site requires integrating all the components of mine design, operations, and closure. Too often, greenfield and feasibility studies ignore the connections between specific study tasks on a mine site, leading to a disconnect between critical path issues that materially impact the viability of a project (e.g., where proposed dewatering schemes ignore the impacts of discharging to the receiving environment). As a result, the overall feasibility of the project appears to be achievable until the details are considered together.

We specialize in the following aspects:

  • Water balance.
  • Bulk water supply.
  • Storm water control.
  • Pollution monitoring design.
  • Permit application and licensing.
  • Mine dewatering design.
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