Mining Water Management Services

It has been calculated, that on average, it takes over 700 cubic meters of water to produce one ton of gold.  The mining sector is a significant water user – as well as a significant producer of wastewater.  It follows that effective mine water management is an essential component of a mine’s success.

In order to comply with regulations and ensure that the quality of water leaving mine sites is not adversely affecting water users downstream, mining companies develop water management plans to minimize the potential for water contamination, and to prevent the release of polluted water into the environment. Surrounding surface and groundwater quality is monitored, and a number of treatment processes can be used to ensure mine water meets regulatory standards prior to being discharged.

Water control techniques

tailings3Water is carefully managed to prevent the release of contaminated water into the environment. [14] Various control techniques can be used to reduce the potential for water contamination and minimize the volume of water requiring treatment. These techniques include:

  • Intercepting and diverting surface water (rain and snowmelt runoff, streams, and creeks) from entering the mine site by building upstream dams to reduce the potential for water contamination from exposed ore and waste rock
  • Recycling water used for processing ore in order to reduce the volume of water requiring treatment
  • Capturing drainage water from precipitation at the mine site through the use of liners and pipes and directing the water to tailings dams in order to prevent potentially contaminated water from entering groundwater or flowing off site
  • Allowing the water to evaporate in ponds to reduce the volume of contaminated water; in dry regions, enough water may be evaporated that no water needs to be discharged, resulting in the containment of contaminates at the mine site
  • Installing liners and covers on waste rock and ore piles to reduce the potential for contact with precipitation and contamination of groundwater

Regulations governing mine water dischargetailings4

In cases where the mine water is discharged into the environment, it is expected to meet the mine license and regulatory requirements of the responsible jurisdiction.

Compliance with regulations is usually enforced with some sort of financial penalty such as a fine, and in extreme cases, mining operations may have their licenses revoked. Although the extent and effectiveness of environmental regulations varies considerably among developing nations, the international mining industry has recognized that environmental responsibility has become essential to the acceptance of a mining project by a community, and has developed a number of best practices which are in use by many mining companies around the world.

tailings5Water management following the closure of a mine

Mining is a transient activity, and once mining operations finish mine closure activities are carried out to minimize the environmental impact of a mine site. These activities can include rinsing any ore in heap leach piles to remove any leftover chemicals, draining and capping tailings ponds with dense clay to prevent water infiltration and groundwater contamination, and removing or stabilizing any contaminated material on site. Ongoing water monitoring and treatment is often a component of mine closure plans, especially where acid rock drainage forms. Where QMMPL have a international tie up with one of the Israel’s best water treatment company Where we ensure that we will have a significant positive impact on the ability to access to water and sanitation is key, since it is at the heart of our mission. Equally essential is that all main stakeholders demonstrate their willingness to actively participate in the process to make it a sustainable endeavor.

tailings6A stable political and social context is an essential prerequisite for undertaking any action in favor of development. A successful project requires a democratic political context where it is possible to engage in constructive dialogue with civil society, and allow the population to take an active role in its implementation.