Drought conditions in Central West NSW
Central West NSW is experiencing one of the most severe droughts on record. CMOC-Northparkes Mines’ (Northparkes) water supply comes from a variety of sources, including the Lachlan River, groundwater aquifers, rainfall and water recycled on site.
Northparkes has a longstanding valued relationship with both Parkes Shire Council, Forbes Shire Council and water regulators when it comes to our operational water usage. Over the years this has ensured a responsible and sustainable long-term supply of water to site.
Despite the current drought conditions and the associated risks to the region, Northparkes is confident in the ability of local councils and the water regulators in managing the situation with efficient use of available resources, ongoing water conservation measures and the continued implementation of water infrastructure projects.
Hubert Lehman, Managing Director of Northparkes said, “Parkes Shire Council has invested significantly in the water security of Parkes over the past five years and this proactive, integrated approach has strengthened our ability to withstand the current conditions. Water is our most important natural resource and we all have a responsibility to use it wisely.”
“Northparkes has on-site water treatment facilities so that low quality water can be made suitable for use. At Northparkes, we are committed to remaining focused on minimising and recycling fresh water where possible. We are proud to say that we recycle a high proportion of water on site, with a recycling and reusing rate of over 60%. We have our own water licences, however we share infrastructure with the local councils.
“We have comprehensive management plans to monitor water quality and quantity. This includes daily and weekly water balances to measure the volume and quality of water inflows, current storage on site, usage, losses, and recycling. This information, plus predicted operational requirements and weather patterns, is used to plan for future water use,” Hubert added.
These measures are in place to ensure the mine is able to move forward into the future to achieve our vision of ‘A century of mining together’. “We will continue working collaboratively with state and local government and associated regulators during these difficult conditions to ensure water security,” said Hubert.
As part of their corporate social responsibility, Northparkes will continue planning for the future, by exploring various different options. “As a business, we remain focused on looking for ways to conserve our fresh water usage onsite, particularly during this dire time,” he said.
About CMOC-Northparkes Mines
Northparkes is a copper and gold mine located 27 kilometres north-west of Parkes, in the Central West of New South Wales, Australia. Since 1993 Northparkes has been celebrated for our high-quality copper/gold deposits, low cost operations and loyal, committed people. Northparkes is a joint venture between China Molybdenum Co., Ltd (CMOC) (80%) and the Sumitomo Groups (20%).
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