Water resources in the hard coal mining areas of Quang Ninh, Vietnam – Overview of the current status and planning approaches for post-mining and mine water reuse

Katrin Brömme1, Mien Tran2, Sandra Greassidis1, Trinh Quoc Viet1
1 Umwelttechnik und Ökologie im Bauwesen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
2 VINACOMIN Informatics, Technology, Environment JSC

O 10.4 in Water and environment in South East Asia

24.03.2018, 09:45-10:00, 2

The province Quang Ninh in the Northeast of Vietnam is a traditional hard coal mining area since the 19th century. The mining activities have a strong impact on the water resources of the area. As the province is developing more and more into a tourism hotspot with its unique limestone rock landscape of Ha Long Bay, the protection of water resources is one of the core issues of environmental management in the mining areas.

Mine water drainage in Quang Ninh is done by pumping water from the open pit bottom or from underground adits. In this way, both groundwater resources and surface water bodies are affected in their quantity and quality.

Regarding the treatment of mine waters huge progress was made in the last 10 years as knowledge and technologies as well as funding conditions improved. Since 2009 a lot of mine water treatment plants started operation and the status of the water resources improved.

New problems arise due to an ongoing transformation from open pit to underground mining and the closure of open pit mines. The deeper the mines the more water needs to be drained, treated and discharged while the urban areas close by lack water during the dry season.

A first approach to mitigate conflicts regarding land and water resources is an integrated planning approach for post-mining land use. It was developed considering legislation, existing plans of the mines, Ha Long City and Quang Ninh province as well as the relevant stakeholders in the region.

The second approach investigates the potential for reuse of treated mine water. Coal mining consumes a huge amount of low quality water for coal processing, dust control, other industrial purposes, etc. but also high quality water for domestic uses. During the rainy season a part of the mine water still is discharged untreated. A concept for mine water reuse in the mines and in the adjacent urban areas by using a material flow analysis and adapted technologies for water storage and treatment is developed.

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