Water

Water plays a crucial role in the extractive industry. The mining industry needs water for unlocking those raw materials, which we use in our daily lives, from the Earth’s crust. 

Great importance is given at the protection of the natural water resources at or near a mine site, such as surface water streams, springs, aquifers, lakes, coasts, or wetlands. Sound water practices are regulated at the EU and national levels, and companies collaborate with local experts to accurately monitor, measure, analyse and test water resources.

We support society’s development according the UN sustainable development goals. The provisions of EU’s Water Framework Directive provide the framework for the improvement of water conditions in Europe and contribute to a sustainable water policy inter alia through the integrated management of river basins. Over the last decades, before and after the adoption of the WFD, industry, including mining, has reduced discharges to water dramatically leading to a significant improvement of the status of European waters. Euromines is proactively involved as stakeholder in review processes of EU water policies, such as the upcoming metal EQS (environmental quality standards) guidance. 

In the extractive sector water management is a basic tool of the environmental and operational management. It enables mine sites to use water and discharge wastewater in a sustainable way and minimize environmental impacts. Moreover it prepares mine sites for extreme climatic conditions ranging from very high rainfall when management of excess waters is necessary, to the opposite extreme, of prolonged dry periods. The latter places greater demand on the requirement for reliable off-site water supply.  During dry periods operations need to be maintained and the requirement for external water supply is kept as low as possible Therefore water efficient processes as well water-reuse and water recycling are important parts of the water management of mining operations.