International Approaches to Policy and Decision-making
Edited by Jayne M. Godfrey and Keryn Chalmers
Chapter 5: Water Accounting in Mining and Minerals Processing
5. Water accounting in mining and minerals processing Claire M. Cote, Jason Cummings, Chris J. Moran and Kristina Ringwood INTRODUCTION The minerals industry interacts with water in many different ways, through its own water use, waste disposal and issues associated with the dewatering of underground mines or of open-cut pits that intersect the water table. Large volumes of water are used for processing and transport of ore and waste, minerals separation, dust suppression, washing of equipment and human consumption (van Berkel 2007; Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET) 2008). Relatively speaking, the industry uses low volumes of water to accomplish these tasks when considered on a global or national scale. For example, the mining industry accounts for 2 per cent of Australia’s water use (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2006). In specific regions though, a mining operation may use a higher percentage of locally available water than the national averages would suggest. Mining companies recognize that initiatives to better manage water resources beyond duty of care requirements reflect on their ‘social licence to operate’. Accordingly, there has been an increasing effort to invest in water resource management far beyond mandated requirements. Water is a key business asset in mining that requires planning to ensure water supply security from an operational perspective. Securing water supply means that most mining operations must store water in dams or mining voids. In wet climates or situations of water abundance, extreme rainfall events can cause these storage facilities to discharge surplus water into local...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.