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Integrated water management of non-process water flows at Newmont’s Waihi Goldmine, North Island, NZ.

Cocks, R.J., Ho, G. and Anda, M. (2011) Integrated water management of non-process water flows at Newmont’s Waihi Goldmine, North Island, NZ. In: International Conference on Integrated Water Management, 2 - 5 February, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

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Abstract

This paper reviews 2 field trips to the Waihi Goldmine (2007/9) and the application of water auditing techniques to assist with Waihi’s Environmental Water Management Strategy. In New Zealand’s high rainfall areas the legal and regulatory framework for water use in mining is structured differently to Australia’s water allocation right’s to abstract water for mining operations. New Zealand’s Resource Management Act 1991 enables mining operations to abstract, treat and discharge water via the Act’s Resource Consents and Water Rights Bill. Therefore, the mining operation must obtain ‘Consents’ permission from local and regional authorities to manage their water stocks. Water monitoring and quality testing is carried out by Waihi Goldmine’s Environmental Department and local and regional testing authorities. The integration of both water quality testing and water quantity measurement is integral to complying with the RMA ’91 ‘Consent’ to discharge treated water from Waihi Goldmine’s water treatment plant and its newly commissioned reverse osmosis treatment plant. Apart from process water feed to all aspects of the mining operation this paper examines the non-process water flows and the management of the treatment of non-process water at a set discharge parameter both with quality and quantity under the RMA ‘91 ‘Consent’ conditions. The findings contribute towards a water management strategy that assists with the site’s ongoing ability to deal with water treatment and discharge of an area in a high rainfall region.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental Technology Centre
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/11084
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