Water is important in all mining and quarrying developments and operations. Every mine requires a water supply, yet an excess of water can impact on mining, or, conversely, mining can impact the natural water environment. Water management in mining environments therefore requires an integrated approach in terms of the influence of water on the various mine elements, including dewatering systems, water supply, site drainage, stormwater management and waste disposal.
In arid areas or dry seasons, the focus is on minimising water wastage and maximising its re-use. Yet, in wetter areas or times, the focus may be on providing effective and controlled stormwater discharge. To aid in the successful water management SRK can offer a number of services, including:
- Site water balance
- Quarry dewatering
- Site water supply
- Site drainage and storm water control
- Water treatment design and assessment
- Flood plain assessment
- Ground water recovery
- Licensing and permitting
- Environmental impact assessment
- Acid rock drainage, prediction and control
These services cover all aspects of the mine life cycle, from green field site through to closure.
To manage water on a site requires a dynamic and integrated approach within the whole operational area. In some cases, interaction between adjacent operations has to be considered and SRK’s approach is to study:
- 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 evaluate and advance water management strategies, so that drainage, storage, treatment and discharge systems can be optimised, designed and integrated into the quarry operating plan.
The focus is on waste minimisation and cost optimisation, whilst achieving environmental quality objectives. System design is based on separation of clean and contaminated flows, combined with the re-use of water where appropriate. This is achieved by evaluating the site water and contaminant mass balance. This is then used as a tool to assess both the feasibility of various options and identify critical areas within the water management strategy.
SRK has more than 20 years of 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 water management strategy can be developed as an aid to planning and decision making on all water issues. SRK has a depth and breadth of experience in water management which is globally recognised within the extraction industry. Our reputation is based on insightful, practical advice built upon sound science and engineering.