Mining IQ

Water Management in Mining: A Selection of Case Studies

Water is a fundamental resource for life. Whether from groundwater or surface water sources, availability of and access to water that meets quality and quantity requirements, is a critical need across the world. We all share responsibility for meeting this need now and in the future.

In mining, water is used within a broad range of activities including mineral processing, dust suppression, slurry transport, and employee requirements. Over the last several decades, the industry has made much progress in developing close-circuit approaches that maximize water conservation. At the same time, operations are often located in areas where there are not only significant competing municipal, agricultural and industrial demands but also very different perspectives on the role of water culturally and spiritually.

The mining industry’s use of and impacts on water can result in a range of environmental, social and economic risks. In some cases, perceptions of high water use are sufficient to cause very real tensions and even conflict. Communities close to mine sites may be concerned about availability of water, security of their access to it and, the potential for water contamination. ICMM recognizes that there are many outstanding challenges and that water management needs to continue to improve across the industry.

This publication provides a collection of case studies of leading practice on water management by ICMM member companies and other responsible actors in the mining industry. The case studies illustrate a number of innovative approaches to finding sustainable solutions to water issues in this sector. While specific case studies are presented here, many other examples can be found across the sector. These cases are leading the way in helping the mining sector understand and demonstrate responses to changing needs in this area.

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This report was published by the International Council for Mining & Metals (ICMM). Find out more about ICMM here -

Water Management in Mining: A Selection of Case Studies.

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