Rethinking water: To keep the surrounding environment safe, miners are turning to the newest innovations in water management – by Matthew Parizot (CIM Magazine – October 05, 2022)

Managing and protecting local water sources during operations are simultaneously some of the most important and most difficult aspects of mining sustainably.

Mines use large amounts of water for numerous processes in normal operations, such as in mineral processing, that lead to the creation of wastewater, which can contain contaminants such as selenium, sulfates or other dissolved metals. Once those contaminants start tainting natural watersheds and water bodies, it can be extremely difficult to undo the damage.

All the more important, then, that new technologies are being developed to remove these contaminants from the water before they make their way into the local ecosystem.

Whether a mine is looking for a passive system to treat tailings ponds, a plant to recycle contaminants back into the circular economy or even a robot to perform tests in hazardous areas, water treatment technologies are constantly evolving.

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Tailings facilities, while common at mines, can contain numerous contaminants that can make their way into the surrounding environment, often through leaching or, in some cases, through a breach.

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