Selection of Mine Water Management Options Considering both Water and Energy Impacts

Nguyen, M. T., Vink, S. and Ziemski, M. (2013). Selection of Mine Water Management Options Considering both Water and Energy Impacts. In: Water in Mining 2013: Proceedings. Water in Mining 2013, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (29-34). 26-28 November, 2013.

Author Nguyen, M. T.
Vink, S.
Ziemski, M.
Title of paper Selection of Mine Water Management Options Considering both Water and Energy Impacts
Conference name Water in Mining 2013
Conference location Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Conference dates 26-28 November, 2013
Proceedings title Water in Mining 2013: Proceedings
Place of Publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (The AusIMM)
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781925100006
Issue 12/2013
Start page 29
End page 34
Total pages 6
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
On any given mine site the water system is contingent upon its initial design. Through time the initial design is adjusted by a myriad of water management options in order to improve water system performance or to adapt to a new production capacity or method at the mine site. These options generally do not comprehensively consider energy requirements, so it is unlikely that any given mine water system will be optimised in terms of both water and energy uses. Thus this may simply shift constraints of efficiency of one resource dimension, water, to another, energy. As a result, changes in water systems would cause more energy-related issues to mining companies. For example, the companies would have an increase in operational cost and/or pay more for carbon tax with changes in their water system. Therefore, in order to avoid undesirable and potential unforseen energy and infrastructure issues in a mine life cycle, it is essential to select suitable water management options for a mine considering both water and energy resources simultaneously.

Considering water and energy criteria in evaluating water management options consists of net water volume availability, net operational energy demand and net water replacement energy demand. Ideal water management options should be high in water volume availability but low in both operational energy demand and water replacement energy demand. A water option would also be favourable if it has low potential of causing adverse environmental impacts such as lowering groundwater tables due to groundwater withdrawal, or elevating saline constituents in surface waters when reusing brine for dust suppression. However, these environmental impacts are not considered in this analysis.

This article presents a graphical method to assess mine water management options, based on these three criteria. The proposed method to assist in screening mine water management options includes two main steps:

1. categorise water management options into prioritised groups
2. rank the options within each prioritised group.

The method is applied to a gold mine and presented in this article as a worked example.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry
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Created: Tue, 01 Jul 2014, 15:03:13 EST by Wendy Parley on behalf of Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry