Barrick Leading the Way in Innovative Water Management
(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) January 13, 2012 - Water is essential to mining, but it is also a scarce commodity in many parts of the world. A commonly held perception is that the mining industry is wasteful of water.
“That’s a challenge the industry has to confront and say, ‘We’re water conscious and taking steps to conserve water,’ ” says Bill Williams, Vice President of Environment at Barrick.
The company is meeting that challenge, Williams says, noting that water management is closely monitored at Barrick operations and a key design criterion for future sites. Currently, 22 of Barrick’s 26 operating mines are zero discharge sites, meaning all water used is recycled and reused for mining processes on site.
Since 2008, Barrick has had a Water Conservation Standard that establishes a uniform approach to water monitoring and accounting. The standard creates processes for continually improving water use efficiency, and requires all sites to implement water conservation plans. Sites are also required to continuously conserve fresh water usage and reduce water inventories. “We only want to take what we need and use it to its maximum,” Williams says.