The Interaction and Impact of Water on Mining in Australia-An Overview

Dundon P,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) is Australia's largest company with widespread commercial interests ranging from steel productin to minerals, oil and gas recovery. While these interests are worldwide, the Company operates or is partner in more than 30 Australian mining ventures. BHP Engineering (BHPE) is the in-house consultant to BHP but is also the largest consultancy in Australia available to general industry. Australian Groundwater Consultants Pty Limited (AGC) is a large, independent consultancy offering specialist services in all aspects of water resources, waste management and environmental engineering, both in Australia and overseas. AGC is particularly well regarded within the mining industry and has a considerable record of providing solutions for mine water related issues. By drawing on the extensive combined experience of AGC and BHP Engineering, this paper will summarize some of the unique ways in which water interacts with and impacts on mining operations in Australia, particularly in matters such as: Slope Stability Drainage and Dewatering Production Cost (Transport, Drilling, Blasting, etc) Water Supply Water Management Tailings and Waste Management Environmental Issues. The paper will also illustrate the cost benefit of providing major engineering works for reduction in total mining cost. It will be shown that, through advance planning and close interaction between outside experts (ie consultants) and on- site personnel, very significant operational cost savings can be made while at the same time achieving a safe and responsible mining environment.
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