Mine Water Management

Minimising contamination, optimising consumption, improving performance

Approach

Efficient water management is essential to nearly all mining and mineral processing activities and must be dutifully considered during each development and operational cycle – from preliminary approvals, production, de-commissioning and closure – and its practices must adhere to stringent environmental and socially responsible policies, with due consideration of the company shareholders.

We promote an integrated approach to mine water management, combining specialist expertise in hydrology, hydraulics, hydrogeology and water quality with geotechnical, environmental and mining skills. Our extensive experience in wet, arid, hot and cold climates enables us to provide cost-effective, practical solutions for your project, and identify methods for more efficient utilisation of water in mining and mineral processing.

Finding a balance between meeting regulatory compliance and cost savings involves innovative thinking. This includes the conjunctive use of surface, groundwater and recycled water; collecting baseline surface and groundwater data from early in an exploration project, including borehole water levels, surface flows and water quality data; and integrating each water component with the total mine water system.

SRK recognises that the key to effective mine water management is a sound understanding of the process and tailings circuits, and integrating this with climatic data, and recycling opportunities to form an interactive range of water balances, responsive to process, seasonal and climatic variations pertinent to the mine at any time. This provides the basis for minimising water make-up, the use of the right water quality for each operation, and incorporation of contaminated streams into less demanding activities, saving pumping and treatment costs.

We are widely experienced with managing the potential, and occurrence, of acid drainage through production and closure, and anticipating likely engineering problems. And we are also proficient in modelling pit dewatering, identifying contamination risks and designing the most suitable water control system for your project.

Services

  • Baseline environmental studies
  • Hydrological and hydraulic studies linked to flood prediction
  • Integrated environmental planning
  • Water balance modelling
  • Waste characterisation and management
  • Water supply
  • Mine dewatering
  • Seepage control and contamination assessment
  • Quantitative contaminant fate modelling
  • ARD, water quality and geochemistry
  • Diversion structures, stormwater controls and spillways
  • Water treatment
  • Engineering design and procurement
  • Contract management and QA/QC
  • Permitting and licensing
SRK Worldwide