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Are You Making These Four Mine Water Management Mistakes?

Unpacking Mine Water Management: A Cornerstone of Long-Term Viability and Mine Value

As the adage goes, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” These simple words carry great significance during early water management decisions for long-term mining operations. Without a clear plan, you can severely undermine the viability and value of your project.

The roots of these problems lie in the feasibility planning stages, where water management is sometimes overlooked. A black box called “water treatment system” is drawn into the mine plan, and the impacts of water management strategies on the eventual treatment process are often an afterthought. 

This strategy typically results in a large, all-encompassing water treatment plant, overlooking potential risks and limiting both the mine’s future development flexibility and closure options.

To overcome these challenges, mine developers should adopt an agile mindset and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions throughout the mine’s lifecycle. The CMJ interviewed Dr. Monique Simair, CEO and principal scientist at Maven Water and Environment and Jeffrey Coombes, strategic development manager at Integrated Sustainability, to develop four tips to help avoid common mistakes and navigate the complexities of mine water management.

First published in partnership with Maven Water and Environment in the Canadian Mining Journal, 25 March 2023.

Jeff Coombes
Manager, Strategic Development – Pacific
Integrated Sustainability

Mining Water Management Infrastructure

Mine Water Management Infrastructure

Undersized infrastructure – based upon limited environmental data – is challenged under today’s environmental conditions and creates a significant opportunity to improve on-site water management infrastructure design.

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