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Conference Proceedings

Water in Mining 2006

Conference Proceedings

Water in Mining 2006

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Mining for Water - Partnering for Sustainable Water Use in Semi-Arid Regions

Semi-arid regions suffer from two afflictions; evaporation may exceed precipitation by multiples of two or more and variations in precipitation can be both extreme and difficult to predict. Many Australian mines are situated in semi-arid areas where communities are reliant upon locally sourced water or special purpose infrastructure is built as part of the mine construction. As the question of climate change looms, issues related to future water supply and sustainable water management become increasingly important.Across Australia several mining operations co-exist in a single surface water and/or groundwater catchment area. The management of water on a mine by mine or a community by community basis is illogical and must be reconsidered based on a single water catchment and a whole-of-community basis. Mine water should be considered on a full life cycle basis where the quality is assessed for specific mine site applications._x000D_
This paper addresses technical challenges that include surface water and groundwater supply in semi-arid regions, operational water in the mining industry, beneficial uses of water, water economics and demand management. In much the same way as emissions trading evolved into a multi-stakeholder forum, mining regions offer scope for innovative thinking in water supply and reuse._x000D_
In addition, this paper considers a number of initiatives taken by Australian mining companies that are entering a prefeasibility stage and contrasts these initiatives against the established success within a South African mining region. The challenges and potential solutions to this initiative are presented for future consideration._x000D_
FORMAL CITATION:Luba, L, Jakeman, M, Lefebvre, N and Aseervatham, R, 2006. Mining for water - partnering for sustainable water use in semi-arid regions, in Proceedings Water in Mining 2006, pp 199-204 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2005
  • PDF Size: 0.125 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P200610027

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