Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
versão On-line ISSN 2411-9717
versão impressa ISSN 0038-223X
In this paper, which is aimed to serve as a review article, first of all a breakdown of the earth's total water reserves is given. The usage areas of water in the mining industry are mentioned and these uses are briefly outlined, together with the main pollution potential of each. According to this, most of the water (almost 80% of it) is utilized in processing. Later on, probable damages that the mining would give to groundwater as a result of acid mine drainage, heavy metal pollution, euthrophication and deoxygenation is described. Finally, the measures and controls that should be taken against water contamination in mines are presented.