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Avoid water loss through infiltration

By Nicolas Boisnic on August 28, 2013

Water for the operation is sourced from a fresh water river nine kilometres from the site. From there, we pump the water to a lined dam capable of storing 1.8 million m3. By lining the dam we have avoided loss through infiltration, resulting in a saving of 438,000 m3 a year, or 6% of total water requirements.

In an effort to mitigate the impact on the river, the operation also draws 20% of its water requirements from rainwater. Rain channels around the plant collect water which then flows naturally to the dam. This provides for all the plant’s water requirements for three to four months of the year, during which time there is no need for energy-intensive pumping of fresh water. Some 800,000 m3 per annum of rainwater is captured and used in this way

Thanks to these measures, Barro Alto now re-uses 85–87% of its water – around 10% higher than levels achieved at equivalent older mine operations – and has been recognised by local environmental bodies.

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