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Conference Proceedings

Water in Mining 2006

Conference Proceedings

Water in Mining 2006

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Valuing Mine Water - A South African Perspective

Water is an integral and essential part of mining business. Two issues crucial in the management of this resource, scarcity and excess, are increasing awareness of the importance of water and changing the value perceptions of the industry because they affect both the existence and continuation of the business. Therefore its value should be reflected in the water management that is practised on site. Historically water in mining has been perceived to be of low value so management practices have not been good or well implemented._x000D_
Political and social transformation in South Africa has been accompanied by the promulgation of new legislation. South African water law is now underpinned by Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) principles. It impacts water pricing, provides for water pollution charges, prioritises water users, has specific mining and water related components and requires water licensing as part of the licence to mine. Mining no longer has a priority on water resources and has to compete with other water users to gain access to resources. New institutional arrangements are being put in place to implement the regulations. All this requires a paradigm shift in mining's view of water. Generally the sector is still catching up with the new requirements, principles and philosophies._x000D_
However, the way in which South African mining values water is changing. This is demonstrated in partnerships between the industry and other water users. These partnerships are Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in practice and they achieve sustainable development goals. These partnerships are essential for mining to stay in business, expand operational capacity, reduce impacts, prevent legal action and reduce reputational risks._x000D_
FORMAL CITATION:Salmon, D A, 2006. Valuing mine water - a South African perspective, in Proceedings Water in Mining 2006, pp 3-12 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2005
  • PDF Size: 0.182 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P200610001

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