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In order to reduce business and safety risk at Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore mining operations, it is imperative that groundwater is strategically managed to ensure dry mining conditions and depressurised slopes whilst ensuring maximum effective usage of the abstracted water and managing the potential environmental impacts. Hydrogeological input into slope design is required in order to ensure safe mine production and minimisation of costs. A structured approach according to engineering design principles is suggested for the design and implementation of an effective and efficient mine dewatering system. Comprehensive data collection and site characterisation, conceptual and numerical groundwater flow modelling as well as dewatering simulations are required to accurately determine the dewatering system requirements. Subsequent to implementation, a comprehensive monitoring program is put in place in order to optimise the dewatering system and effectively manage the environmental impact. The implementation phase of an effective dewatering strategy at Sishen and Kolomela Mines are discussed as case studies.
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