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How smart tech can enhance mine water systems

By |  January 14, 2021
Xylem Jessy Parmar

Parmar

Mine operators continue to be faced with multi-faceted challenges related to water quality and scarcity, regulatory compliance, and operational continuity and efficiency. 

A recent Xylem poll of mining operators showed that 63 percent agree the growing cost of water and sustainable water management is their most pressing water-related issue on site. Those working in the sector are keenly aware of the importance of using this finite resource carefully, and investors and regulators are increasingly focused on how mining companies manage water.

Enhancing automation across mine sites is a growing trend, and mine water management is no exception. Miners are increasingly turning to smart technology to improve the efficiency and reliability of water systems. 

Automation enhances safety while allowing for smarter use of manpower and resources – both of which are significant benefits. The strain that the pandemic put on manpower across all industries, plus rising operating costs, will accelerate automation in 2021. As such, the popularity of smart technologies such as intelligent pumping solutions, remote monitoring and controls, and advanced telemetry systems will increase. 

Going digital

As water affordability and accessibility cause continued challenges, mine water treatment technologies supporting environmental sustainability will become more and more commonplace. Photo: P&Q Staff

As water affordability and accessibility cause continued challenges, mine water treatment technologies supporting environmental sustainability will become more and more commonplace. Photo: P&Q Staff

Efficiency is a key driver of productivity. Across the industry, operators are turning to digital solutions and smart technology to help boost on-site efficiency – including in their mine water management processes. 

As the cost of doing business continues its upward trajectory, mine operators are minimizing energy consumption and optimizing asset use with smart technologies that boost efficiency. They’re also making a tangible difference to the bottom line in doing so. 

Miners are eager to ensure the safety of local communities and maximize the sustainability of their operations, as well.

Expect the growing demand for smart technologies that support environmental monitoring to continue in 2021. Miners want to have the right solutions in place that enable them to meet discharge regulations and secure the safety profile of operations as conveniently and efficiently as possible. 

Similarly, sustainable water use and reuse will be key trends. As water affordability and accessibility continue to cause challenges, mine water treatment technologies supporting environmental sustainability will become more and more commonplace on mining sites.

There is already a wealth of smart technologies on the market to support increased automation in mining, and more are to come this year. Stay tuned.


Jessy Parmar is a business development manager for the industrial marketing team at Xylem.


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