Water is important in all mining and quarrying developments and operations. Every mine requires a water supply and water can impact on mining, or, conversely, mining can impact the natural water environment. Water management in mining environments requires an integrated approach in terms of the influence of water on the various mine elements, including dewatering systems, water supply, site drainage, processing and tailings disposal.
In arid areas, the focus is on minimising waste and maximising re-use of water. In wetter areas, the focus may be on providing storm water storage so that a zero discharge policy can be maintained, or treating process water for supply usage.
- Mine dewatering
- Mine water supply
- Site drainage and storm water control
- Water treatment
- Arterial land drainage and river diversions
- Ground water recovery
- Licensing and permitting
- Environmental impact assessment
- Acid rock drainage, prediction and control
- Evaluation, optimisation, review, design and construction supervision of active and passive mine water treatment schemes
- Evaluation of heap leach and spent process solution management and disposal
To manage water on a mine site requires a dynamic and integrated approach within the whole mining area. In some cases, interaction between adjacent mining operations has to be considered and SRK's approach is to consider:
- The impact of water on the mining project
- The impact of mining on the water environment
- The overall site and plant water balance
SRK works with developers and operators to develop and evaluate water management strategies, so that drainage, storage, treatment and discharge systems can be optimised and designed and integrated into the mine plan.
The focus is on waste minimisation and cost optimisation, whilst achieving environmental objectives, based on separation of clean and contaminated flows, combined with the re-use of water where appropriate. This is achieved by evaluating the mine site water and contaminant mass balance which is used as a tool to assess feasibility of various options and identify critical areas in the water management strategy.
SRK has more than 25 years of mine water management experience in mine and quarry sites around the world and ranges from complete feasibility studies through to design and construction supervision, and technical advice on operational problems.
SRK's background in all aspects of mining means that an integrated mine water management strategy can be developed as an aid to planning and decision making on all water issues.