Case study

Jervois Base Metal Project EIS, Surface Water Assessment

ProjectJervois Base Metal Project
ClientKGL Resources Pty Ltd
LocationJervois / Lucy Creek, Northern Territory
Disciplines/ServiceHydrological and hydraulic modelling
Water quality assessment
Water balance modelling
Impact assessment
Key team members

Rhys Cullen
Project Manager

Ardianto Notodirdjo
Project Engineer

WRM ContactRhys Cullen

The Challenge

The Jervois Base Metal Project is a proposed copper, lead and zinc mine, located about 270 km northeast of Alice Springs. The project site has been mined sporadically by different entities since the 1920s. KGL Resources Pty Ltd is planning to mine copper and other base metals such as lead and zinc by both open cut and underground methods. The Project will have a proposed mine life of 12 to 15 years.

Surface water management at the Jervois Project is a balance of ensuring adequate water supply for operations, and managing excess volumes of dirty and contaminated runoff during the wet months of the year. The project site is also affected by flooding from Unca Creek and its tributaries. Water management is complicated by legacy mining infrastructure, including an existing water supply dam, old tailing storage facilities and process plant equipment.

The challenge for the surface water management strategy for the Project site is to reuse dirty and contaminated water within the mine water management system, preventing releases of such water to the environment, and limiting the reliance on external sources of raw water. The risks to mine staff and infrastructure from flooding also needed to be understood and minimised.

Approach and Key Activities

As part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed mine, WRM was engaged to undertake a surface water assessment for the Jervois project site and propose surface water management measures to be implemented during both construction and operational phases. The key tasks of the surface water assessment at Jervois included:

  • Identifying potential surface water impacts and mitigation measures;
  • Identifying potential flood impacts and mitigation measures;
  • Concept design of creek diversions and water management infrastructure;
  • Estimating the mine site annual water balance; and
  • Establishing a comprehensive surface water monitoring network to monitor the impacts of mining.

Outcomes and benefits

A comprehensive surface water management system was developed for the project which will ensure water supply to the site (with limited import of external water), and protect downstream ecosystems. The surface water assessment prepared by WRM was submitted as part of the EIS package in September 2018.