Water challenges

Water is important in all mining and quarrying operations. Hard rock mines use water to cool equipment, control dust, transport slurry, and separate waste from valuable minerals. Sustainable water use presents several challenges to mining companies, including finding and protecting adequate sources, minimizing consumption and reusing water wherever possible, managing waste, and preventing contamination. 

The industry’s impact on natural resources poses environmental, social and economic risks to be dealt with. Water is a strategic resource that needs careful management. 

As mining operations become more sophisticated, so do the requirements for sustainable, environmentally responsible, and economical water management. International and national legislation, intended to regulate water usage and prevent source contamination, encourages mining companies to develop new water management strategies. Innovative membrane technologies have proven to be valuable in reaching new levels of compliance, cost control and protection of natural resources. 

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All mining requires water, and often lots of it. From the water for separation processes to the drinking water in the showers and canteens, different applications require different qualities and, depending on the available feedwater, different treatment methods. Mining in dry regions will prompt a strong focus on economical use and reuse, while dewatering pits in wet regions will require attention for the environment. Worldwide, the industry is adopting the use of saline or other suboptimal sources, and recycled process water.

Responsible water management has to include preventing pollution accidents caused by acid mine drainage, metal contamination, or the discharge of wastewater with high levels of solids. Responding to water issues in different circumstances, and making use of technological advances, certain risks may well be turned into opportunities for reuse, or even better water for the locals or agricultural activities.


Pentair Advanced Filtration offers a wide array of innovative water solutions for the mining industry. We can develop and build tailor-made systems that will manage the water resources at your disposal safely and effectively. 

Mining is one of few industries able to use water of much lower quality than drinking water. Seawater may be used for mineral processing, and treated for use in utilities or human consumption. Hypersaline groundwater and recycled wastewater are also potential sources.

Ultrafiltration technology already plays an important part in many mining operations across the globe, both in producing water to the required specifications, and in treating wastewater for safe discharge or reuse. With the value of water set to rise even further, along with concerns about resources, smart management needs smart technology not only from the business point of view. Pentair Advanced Filtration helps improve productivity and protect your equipment as well as the environment.

Treatment solutions

  • Proven UF technology is reliable and cost-efficient
  • Maximum levels of water recycling and reuse 
  • Potable water production for mining staff facilities
  • Dependable water supply for remote mines
  • Pretreatment for reverse osmosis/desalination 
  • High-solids wastewater treatment 
  • Condensate water treatment  
  • Prevention of Acid Mine Drainage

Featured case

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Emalalheni (Witbank) South Africa

Acid mine drainage

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