Negative Impacts of Water Usage in Mining are Avoidable with Proper Training

water
While mining has historically affected its surrounding environment, advances in technology and changes in water management techniques mean that many negative impacts are now avoidable. Increasingly, mining companies are making efforts to reduce the environmental impact of mining and minimize the footprint of their activities throughout the mining cycle, including working to restore ecosystems post-mining. This is well-documented by an article on www.miningfacts.org.

The use of water in mining has the potential to affect the quality of surrounding surface water and groundwater. In response to environmental concerns and government regulations, the mining industry worldwide increasingly monitors water discharged from mine sites, and has implemented a number of management strategies to prevent water pollution. Water issues and management vary from site to site and must be addressed locally, but in general, the mining industry seeks to minimize its impact on water quality and availability.

The potential for water contamination at a mine site depends on a number of factors:

  • the type of ore being mined;
  • the chemicals used in the mineral preparation and metal extraction processes;
  • the climate;
  • the life stage of the mine; and
  • the environmental management practices in place at the mine.

Modern water management practices and mine designs greatly reduce the potential for water contamination at mine sites. In general, old abandoned mine sites have a higher potential to pollute nearby waterways because the water control techniques that modern environmental regulations now require were not in place when the mine was opened or closed. Knowledge of water management and impact reduction has greatly increased over time, and the prevention of water contamination is now an important component of mine operation and closure plans.

The following instructor-led courses from EduMine are focused on disseminating this water management knowledge and imparting the skills necessary to develop a water management plan.

These courses are delivered as live, interactive video-streaming webcasts scheduled for delivery in April and May 2016. To register for these unique events click the titles above or contact Sandra Wunschdirectly.

In addition, EduMine has a strong representation of courses on water management technology for mining in its library of self-directed online courses. The following is a short-list.

To access these online courses you need to be enrolled in EduMine. See EduMine Solutions for Individuals.

Simon Houlding is Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., responsible for EduMine, the professional development division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry. He is a practicing professional engineer and author.

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