Mining

At DHI, we develop integrated solutions to solve water-related challenges for the mining industry. 

With increasing costs related to water acquisition and management, emerging mine water risks, and a commitment from industry leaders to decrease water footprints, water stewardship is at the forefront of the mining industry. 

DHI‘s team of leading engineering specialists are skilled in mining hydrology and hydrogeology and passionate about the responsible management of water. This combined with MIKE Powered by DHI’s customizable modeling technology makes it possible to tailor solutions to the specific needs of your mining operation.

DHI services our mining clients through a global network of offices in 28 countries— including key mining hubs in the U.S.A, Australia, Brazil, Germany, and Peru. Our clients include many of the worlds largest and most successful mining companies including Freeport-McMoRan, BHP, Antamina, Lundin Mining, and Rio Tinto among others.



Key Mining Services


OPERATIONAL MINE WATER PLANNING - MIKE MINE

Mines are dynamic environments where the physical behavior of systems can change daily. To get a complete and accurate picture of real-time conditions, it’s important to consider not only conceptual and statistical models, but also real-time data. 

DHI’s MIKE MINE provides real-time monitoring, forecasting, scenario testing, and reporting of mine water operations. MIKE MINE’s “digital twin” of your operation is displayed in a customized dashboard with the most essential statistical and real-time water management data, granting you the power to make decisions quickly.

MIKE MINE has been proven to reduce timelines for analysis and evaluation of water related risks, improved efficiency of water operations, reduced water management costs, and improved auditability of workflows. Features include:

  • Automated systems to combine disparate data sets for centralized collaboration and automated data analysis and reporting
  • Dynamic displays of real-time operating data through a customized dashboard
  • Tools that reconcile current operating conditions with planned conditions
  • Updated forecasts based on current conditions and model updates
  • Rapid scenario analysis to improve operating strategies

We have worked closely with the sensemetrics product team to ensure a seamless integration between MIKE MINE and their lloT Sensor Monitoring Platform. Doing so enables us to offer a market ready, real-time, cloud based mine water operations system. This tool has been proven to reduce water management costs and water related risks and improve the overall efficiency of the operation through the reconciliation of planned versus actual operating conditions. MIKE MINE enables real-time couplings with numerical and water balance models (FEFLOW, MIKE SHE, MIKE Basin, Goldsim) and advanced data-fusion and artificial intelligence tools that provide a comprehensive and powerful suite of operational dashboards to facilitate decision making in real-time.


MINE DEWATERING

Mine dewatering is a complex task, but with DHI’s innovative solutions, you can keep costs down while maintaining efficiency in your operation.

To help clients cut dewatering costs, DHI uses methods such as:

  • Optimizing well placement and pumping rates
  • Linking catchment hydrology to the dewatering system design
  • Explicit incorporation of highly detailed geologic, alteration and structural models into FEFLOW models, which play a crucial role in controlling pore pressure dissipation and mine inflows
  • Synchronizing the dewatering program to mine planning and production through the incorporation of real-time operational management tools in MIKE MINE


SITE-WIDE AND CATCHMENT SCALE WATER BALANCES 

DHI uses advanced numerical tools to develop both deterministic and probabilistic mine water balances. This combined approach helps to improve water management from the early planning and design phase through operations and ultimately closure. In addition, mine managers need to plan, design, and assess water management activities (e.g. dewatering, water disposal, and flood management) that reach well beyond the mine boundary. The impacts are spatial, long term, and complex—and may be cumulative across multiple mine sites. 

Proactively managing water quantity and quality requires an understanding of the hydrology and hydrogeology at the catchment or regional scale. DHI is an international leader in catchment scale modeling and has helped mining companies identify, evaluate, and respond to catchment scale water-related risks and opportunities. 

Using tools such as MIKE SHE and innovative model couplings, DHI accounts for various operational strategies and the interactions between surface water, groundwater, and catchment hydrology. Decision makers can then develop management strategies for surface water and groundwater – both on the mine site and in the regional catchment. 


TAILINGS AND CLOSURE

There are intricate factors that go into planning the closure of a mining operation. For example, treatment and remediation planning depends on long-term interaction between re-established vegetation, soils, rainfall and evapotranspiration. Closure planning for pit lakes and the re-establishment of native flora depends on groundwater and surface water interactions. Lastly, tailings disposal, clean up, and reclamation is costly and complex—especially in hydrologically unique settings and extreme climates.

DHI works closely with mining companies to evaluate the impacts of multiple stressors and create a framework for detailed planning and design, using approaches such as:

  • High-resolution tailings pore pressure modeling using FEFLOW
  • Incorporating hydrodynamical coupled processes to capture the transient nature of the tailings materials properties
  • Non-Newtonian tailings runout analyses to better understand facility risks

Such a complex task requires comprehensive understanding of water-related risks. With DHI’s innovative tools and expertise, mining companies can minimize the impact of closure and improve tailings stewardship.


MINE WATER SUPPLY

DHI’s water experts have been involved with high-yield and high-profile groundwater exploration projects for mines. We use our knowledge of hydrologic systems to optimize mine water supply approaches and minimize costs and water footprints. For example, Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) approaches are generally underutilized by the mining industry and represent possibilities to improve the reliability of the supply, minimize evaporative losses, and decrease capital costs. 


BRINE RESOURCE EVALUATION

DHI is a leader in supporting lithium companies quantify Mineral Resource Estimate for Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (“LCE”), at the Measured, Indicated, and Inferred level categories in compliance with Canadian National Instrument (NI) 43-101. 

Geostatistical modeling and numerical groundwater flow, transport, and variable density models are used to support this process. DHI has also developed proprietary methods to optimize wellfield configurations and lithium recovery to further minimize environmental footprints.