Striking the balance between productivity and environmental stewardship has never been more challenging for the mining industry – despite dedicated efforts from corporate initiatives.
Once a strategy leaves head office, its execution cannot be a ‘black box’. How operations implement the commitment matters, and it can’t be left to them alone to work through the finer details.
So, how can the mining industry bridge the gap from corporate ESG policy (environmental, social, and governance) and influence what’s going on at the ground level?
As mines go digital, there’s been a steady trend to use technology to improve situational awareness of mining operations. Real-time water monitoring, data collection and advanced analysis are at the core of this.
Incorporating data from real-time water monitoring systems into operations
It’s always been difficult to maintain compliance without a clear understanding of water quality, and how it changes over time.
By visualising real-time water monitoring networks, open pit mines can demonstrate responsible practices through active environmental management while upkeeping production commitments.
Real-time monitoring systems provide several benefits to open-pit mines that help them operate more sustainably. Advanced alerts implemented from real-time water quality monitoring systems can let operators know when pollutants exceed safety thresholds to mitigate risk immediately.
The first step towards incorporating real time monitoring technology into operations is identifying the areas where it can be used most effectively. This includes evaluating key areas where water quality is a concern – such as tailings ponds or surface runoff sites – and determining the types of pollutants present in each area (such as metals or organic compounds). Once these areas have been identified, operators can deploy appropriate sensors for collecting data on each pollutant type.
Data from real-time water monitoring sensors can be monitored remotely by personnel both onsite and offsite (if necessary). Colour-coded insights from water monitoring thresholds allow operators to take immediate action if issues arise, rather than waiting until it’s too late – which could result in costly fines or even a shutdown order from the authorities.
Additionally, actionable insights can help identify process improvements that can reduce the amount of water used in operations – allowing operators to lower resource costs while also minimising their environmental impact.
Omnis software helps mine operators by providing intelligent insights from real-time water monitoring data, to mitigate risk and provide evidence of responsible operations.
Using historical water monitoring data to benchmark environmental performance
Cloud-based real-time water monitoring systems also store data historically. This allows mining companies to benchmark ESG performance over time. Operational insights from this data helps them assess the effectiveness of various strategies and practices in meeting sustainability goals—such as reducing waste or conserving energy—so they can make informed decisions about how best to move forward.
In addition, having access to this data makes it easier for companies to communicate with investors and other stakeholders about their efforts towards sustainability and corporate responsibility.
Open pit mines have a unique opportunity to demonstrate responsible practices by incorporating corporate ESG strategies into their operations through real-time water monitoring technologies. By taking advantage of this technology, mining operations will be able to minimise impact on local water bodies while also demonstrating sustainability efforts to both internal stakeholders and external investors alike – ultimately helping the industry achieve long-term success achieving ESG goals.
With the right tools at their disposal, businesses within the open pit mining sector can lead the way when it comes to responsible resource management at scale.
How one of the world’s largest open-pit mines uses water monitoring data
As part of their commitment to sustainability around the river, one of the world’s largest open-pit mines uses Envirosuite’s Omnis software as a proactive solution to monitor water quality before releasing it back into the river. Omnis software provides the Operations teams at the mine with visualisation of water quality monitors. Colour-coded actionable insights are used to support operational decisions to ensure water quality levels are compliant with operating license conditions.
Omnis is now an integral part of the mine’s strategy to manage environmental risks and impacts that could arise from operations. It is now also being used to promote environmental education throughout the company and communicate transparently across management teams. As a core part of their operations, teams across the entire operation can now respond rapidly and effectively to potential impact before they arise.
Envirosuite has enabled the mine to demonstrate sustainable and responsible mining operations to surrounding communities and other stakeholders. Since the implementation of the real-time water monitoring solution, the coal producer has moved up on the Responsible Mining Index (RMI) to stand amongst industry giants including Teck and Newmont.
Ask us how your mine can do the same today
Interested in finding out how you can do the same?
Our solutions assist operators from a growing number of mining companies around the world with water monitoring, achieving water quality compliance and daily management of complex infrastructure.
Get in touch with us today to find more.