Mining at Kunwarara brings its own unique challenges. The magnesite is from inside a shallow aquifer, which makes mining impossible without first controlling the water. To do this, we dig a deep drain around the outside of the mining pit. Next, we install pumps in these drains to lower the water level far enough to mine a bench of ore. As each bench is mined, the pit deepens along with the drains around the mining area, with pumping reducing the water level. This cycle repeats until the bottom bench of ore is mined.
After we pump water from mining areas, it is sent into a network of pipes and waterways. Ultimately, we use this water for material processing or dust suppression.
Only a fraction of the water used in material processing is actually consumed by the process. Most of it is recycled through the plant to clean and wash magnesite, then pumped out to the current tailings pit in a slurry, before finally being pumped back to the plant for reuse.
QMAG has proven over 30 years that we champion sustainability by using water from the aquifer in a way that does not adversely impact its quality or level.
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