Sylvie 150x150

Sylvie St Jean
Environment Manager
New Gold

What can we expect to learn from your contribution at Water in Mining 2020?
In this presentation, I will discuss two cases.  Firs RRM (Rainy River Mine) where I will show how a mine, which water strategy was designed based on pumping from a nearby river for water needs; had no freshwater diversion plans or treatment, improved and adapted to changing weather regime.  Since mid-2018, RRM has designed, built and operated a custom made treatment train, built a complete freshwater diversion system as well as over 30Km of pipelines in order to move large quantities of water.  This has enabled RRM to completely stop reliance on the nearby river, and divert almost all freshwater from site.  RRM is now relying on nearly 100% of water recycling for its needs and is a nimble mine, ready to change from drought to flood in a matter of hours.  NAM (New Afton Mine) is a Canadian mine in a semi-arid environment that has tremendous water challenges.  They are transitioning from conventional slurry to thickened tailings to address this situation while also working with local FN on water stewardship initiatives.

What do you see as the impending challenges for water and environmental professionals in the mining industry?
The ability to adapt to climate changes and extreme water regime in this time of increasing public concern over our water resources.

Which industry innovations are you most excited about at the moment?
The advances in water treatment that enables us to greatly minimize our impacts on the receiving environment.  The rapidly advancing tailings dewatering technologies are also helping industry to reduce water needs.

Why would you recommend the event to colleagues? Why do you think it’s an important meeting?
This meeting, being dedicated to water issues is at the forefront of the upcoming climate changes challenges that the mining industry will face. It is a mix of experts presenting the latest technologies and real life stories being shared.  It is an exciting and very useful conference. Conferences of this nature allow for cross-polinatinon of ideas so that companies can see what others are doing and adapt some of these practices to make their own operations stronger in water stewardship.