The environmental impacts of mining are the subject of increased community scrutiny. In response to crucial environmental and community concerns we have invested over two decades of R&D developing science and technologies that help minimise environmental impacts prior to, during and post-mining, to support a sustainable future for the industry and society.

The challenge

A social licence to operate

Mining companies have multiple issues to address in order to operate at standards that live up to increasingly high community expectations.

Miners know the importance of addressing environmental issues to support and maintain their social licence to operate.

These environmental concerns include:

  • impact on our precious ground- and surface water systems
  • mine-site vulnerability to extreme events, particularly storm-related flood and long-term drought
  • mine-water treatment and reuse: effective management of mine-impacted water and brine
  • reduced use of water
  • reduced waste – finding value in every grain
  • improved end-of-mine-life planning
  • ability to simulate complex and coupled hydro-geo-mechanical processes in mining
  • uncertainty and limitation of hydrogeology, geotechnical, and baseline data, and
  • poor knowledge of the cumulative impact of mining. 

Our response

Engineering for sustainability

We have developed world-class expertise, specialist technologies and software to support sustainable mining operations to deliver better environmental outcomes from mining.

Our scientists have decades of experience understanding the most critical and complex issues for mining operators. We also have the expertise to develop and deploy innovative tools and provide sustainable solutions.

Our expertise is demonstrated in our integrated approach and techniques for field monitoring and modelling and the technologies we have developed, including

  • COSFLOW: a fully parallelised three-dimensional coupled dual-porosity two-phase fluid flow and rock-mass deformation-based FEM code, developed for efficiently addressing groundwater-related issues in coal mining
  • MOOSE (mooseframework.org): a modern 3D code to solve general coupled fluid-mechanics and solid-mechanics problems. We developed advanced functionality for the accurate representation of rock deformation, as well as modules to solve mine-related gas and water problems
  • novel purpose-specific water-treatment technologies for contaminant removal and low-cost desalination, and
  • a range of mine water-treatment technologies to improve process and energy efficiency and reduce overall cost of treatment and carbon footprint.

We also have world class parallel computing capability with access to high-performance supercomputing.

Our clients span academia and industries. We have partnered with mining companies, federal and state Governments, universities and international collaborators to undertake  this work.
 
Our goal is to provide our clients with practical solutions and not just theoretical analysis.

Please see more from our Mining Geoscience team.

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We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

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