Water use options for mine expansion

Water use options for mine expansion


  • Scope:
    • Conceptual groundwater reuse options utilising tree/ crop irrigation
    • Estimates of water demand (volume/ha) for various tree/ crop irrigation options
    • Estimates of cost/ ha or cost/volume of water for each option
    • Conceptual treatment options based on limited water quality data available
    • A preferred conceptual option (based on water volume)
  • Challenge:

    While developing plans for mine expansion below watertable, it became evident that paleo-channels would be intercepted leading to potential for significant groundwater inflows to the mining pit. Zinc concentrations in the water exceeded ANZECC limits for stream discharge. Projected water volumes exceeded planned storage capacity. 

  • Solution:

    Verterra identified that water quality was suitable for land application and proposed an irrigation solution to provide a dry-season offtake option, avoiding the need for additional groundwater storage capacity, reducing long-term liability for rehabilitation of water impoundments, and providing a beneficial use.

  • Benefit to Client:

    In response to projections indicating a substantial increase in mine water inflows associated with mine expansion plans, the client sought novel approaches to mine water management that could increase value and reduce cost. The project provided the client with a detailed analysis of options for beneficial use of excess mine water to inform subsequent decision making.

  • Market Sector: Mining
  • Capabilities:
    • Irrigated forest & fodder crops for beneficial use of waste water
    • Forest and fodder crops
    • Soil surveying and land capability assessment
  • Location: Northern Territory
  • Year: 2012