With the mining boom showing no signs of abating, significantly increased volumes of water consumption and wastewater generation will be the likely result. This is highlighting the importance of sustainable solutions, advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies, as well as innovative business models to mitigate increasing water stress. Stricter environmental regulations and enhanced efficiencies for extracting basic minerals and metals are also coming more sharply into focus.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (environmental.frost.com), CEO 360 Degree Perspective of the Global Mining Water and Wastewater Treatment Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.29 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach $3.60 billion in 2016.
The global mining industry is seeking to expand production, while maintaining operational efficiencies and cost optimization. Positive investment trends in the mining water and wastewater sector are set to continue through improved treatment levels, resource recovery and desalination capacities.
"The strong development of the mining industry in emerging regions will drive demand for mine water and wastewater solutions in these regions," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Paulina Szyplinska. "Developed regions are expected to focus on advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies with closed loops systems and high efficiency resource recovery devices as well as on greater water sustainability measures, such as water trading."
Unlike manufacturing sectors, mining operations are fully reliant on the location of the ores, with limited options to mitigate and adapt to regional water scarcity or quality impacts. Critical water shortage is already an issue in many areas where natural resources are abundant, making it imperative for mining companies to consider either water trading or water recovery and reuse technologies.
In addition to limited availability of water, climate change and intensification of extreme weather conditions are expected to increase water-related concerns in many metal and mineral rich regions.
"While creating water solutions for the mining industry, it is important to secure high quality treatment processes that comply with stringent regulations and guarantee long-term efficiency," cautioned Szyplinska. "Increased water consumption may impact global water resources far beyond the operable life of the mine; hence, sustainable solutions for water use need to be incorporated into mining business decisions and not be seen as an add-on cost."
In some instances, the water supply shortage can be overcome through reusing processed water and wastewater in different mining processes. Depending on mining wastewater quality, over 90 per cent can be reused by applying advanced treatment technologies, such as reverse osmosis and microfiltration.
Water reuse, combined with proper water management procedures, can enable the mining industry to save up to 40 per cent of its daily freshwater intake. This trend of wastewater reuse in mining production is set to motivate investments in modern wastewater treatment technologies that improve water use standards.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail with your contact details to Chiara Carella, Corporate Communications, at chiara.carella[.]frost.com.
CEO 360 Degree Perspective of the Global Mining Water and Wastewater Treatment Market is part of the Environmental Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Western European Water and Wastewater Utilities Market. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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