At Orla, we understand that to maintain our social licence, comply with water-related permits, and be a sustainable business, it is critical that we manage water responsibly. Our water management strategy focuses on minimizing our withdrawal of water from the surrounding environment, while maximizing reuse of water during operations.
Prior to commencing mining activities, we conduct assessments that consider our water needs and our potential impact on water quality and quantity. These studies inform our action plans and operating practices, including mitigation measures. An important part of our approach is to understand the water-related challenges and opportunities with other users that share the catchment with us, and to provide data transparently to decision-makers so that we positively contribute to the water management of the region, even beyond the boundaries of the mine.
From exploration drilling to mineral processing, water is required for many aspects of a mining operation. Yet water is possibly the most critical ESG challenge for any mining company simply because water is interconnected with other pressing material issues. For instance, water scarcity and frequent storm events are linked to climate change and can impact a mining operation. Water flows from rainfall can come into contact with mining areas, such as waste rock, potentially mobilizing contaminants that affect soil and end up in nearby water bodies. Activities involved in the mining lifecycle can also degrade water quality, which in turn may impact biodiversity as well as public health.
Water risks to our business include those related to the quantity of water used for our operation and the impact our mining activity has on local water quality and availability.
Read more about Orla’s Water Stewardship