Ahumada Calderon, C 2020, 'BHP mine water management: an integrated approach to manage risk
and optimise resource value', in PM Dight (ed.), Proceedings of the 2020 International Symposium on Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 3-16, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2025_0.01
BHP owns and operates large and long life assets with diverse challenges and opportunities that require longterm business plans to manage risk and maximise the resource value. Mine water management plays a fundamental role in the business plan, as a key enabler or as a main constraint in the mine plan. A defined integrated approach of mine water management needs to be embedded in the core business processes as business planning, risk management and into operational processes.
BHP’s approach to define an adequate mine water management plan needs to consider a diverse range of components such as risk management appetite, strategic, planning and operational plans, data, analysis and knowledge to assess the uncertainty. Integrated risk assessments that include mine planning, geotechnical and water risks are important steps that BHP is improving to give flexibility to our mine plans and to define effective controls at different levels. Implementing strategic and operational plans, and incorporating and aligning them into the mine planning processes will ensure water-related decisions can be made with the technical basis at the time required. Improvements of technical characterisation of hydrogeological, water management and geotechnical that have been informed by the dynamic monitoring networks, data acquisition and technology implemented have been fundamental to evolve the conceptualisations and models that inform geotechnical design and mine plans. Understanding and preparedness for multidisciplinary technical uncertainty is something that BHP is also addressing, focusing on improving the skills to assess this and the data required.
A mine water management integrated approach will help us to achieve adequate mine water management to inform slope stability, mine planning and operations to make the right decisions, manage risks and optimise resource value.
Keywords: mine water management, business planning, risk management, resource value, uncertainty
International Organization for Standardization 2018, ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management – Guidelines,