Mine water is a generalised term used to describe water from a range of sources generated from the mining and processing activities.
Therefore, with regards to the development of a mining project, problems and associated risks need to be carefully assessed. Detailed management planning from sourcing to its discharge through the various mine processes is best done at the planning stage and is a very crucial component to review during production through to closure stages of mining.
Australia is one of the driest continents in the world, and mining is considered as the thirsty business. In remote areas of the country, water can be both scarce and overabundant, forcing mining operations to continually advance water management techniques and technologies to secure supply, reduce environmental footprint, and ride through bad weather conditions such as flooding, cyclones, and droughts.
Addressing supply and disposal challenges in mining is vital to achieving operational excellence. Water can be sourced from surface or groundwater systems, varying from site to site and depending on the size and location of the mine and volume of needed for different ore types.
Mining operators face tough decisions daily on how to extract and dispose of the water safely and cost effectively, and ensure no pollutants flow out into the environment, for example, lead and uranium contamination.
Mining activities are generally positioned in isolated areas where established water and sewage infrastructure are not readily accessible, and wastewater rich in metals and harmful particles needs intensive treatment.
Water is additionally utilised for drilling, construction, dust suppression to protect air quality, to revegetate restored land, and for the convenience of the workforce. Broadly, the modern mining industry responds to weather conditions through proper planning, particularly with regards to emergency preparedness and workers health and safety.
Mine Water Management planning integrates the mine supply and dewatering problems with all the other elements of the water circuit around the whole site. This needs the development of a mine water balance which is an effective tool to optimise water requirement, re-use and discharge.
Early consideration of mine closure needs should likewise be considered at an early stage to reduce later stage costs, remediation and possible long term liabilities. Considering the Mine Water Management aspects and challenges early in a mining project can result in valuable baseline data and considerable cost savings through the operational time of the mine. Mine Water Treatment and Industrial Wastewater Treatment by Minetek provide efficient and innovative solutions for the mining, oil & gas industry.