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  • Optimising import/export facilities

    Mining and metals
  • Managing mine water assets

    Mining and metals
  • Addressing environmental requirements

    Mining and metals
  • Mining and metals
  • Mining and metals

Mining and metals

HR Wallingford helps clients in the mining and metals industries to optimise throughput, provide effective marine facilities and manage their water and environmental risks.

Site selection and evaluation

We evaluate options for new marine facilities sites for bulk material handling. The key objective in the early stages of planning and design is to define both the environmental parameters and operational performance needs of the terminal. Our expertise in the integration of environmental conditions and operational criteria to optimise terminal development is supported by our terminal operational simulation technology.

Safe and efficient marine terminal access

As a global leader in the design and optimisation of navigational access to bulk marine terminals we work with port operators and natural resources clients to optimise vessel navigation, using our state-of-the-art navigation simulators and port operation models. When coupled with our technical expertise, these tools help us to deliver an access design that is safe to use and is optimised for both cost and terminal throughput.

Efficient and cost-effective marine terminal design

We help clients manage the risks that increase the cost or inefficiency of mining import/ export operations, e.g. downtime due to unfavourable metocean conditions or sedimentation of access channels. Breakwaters and dredging are key solutions, but they require substantial investment.  Our combined physical and numerical modelling capability means we can help clients find an optimal design that balances risks, operability and cost. 

Addressing the environmental impacts of underwater mining

We assess the environmental impacts of deep sea mining, ensuring that consenting decisions are based on robust evidence. We can assess sediment release and dispersion from mining sites, sediment re-suspension, and the propagation of underwater noise from extraction activities. We advise developers and regulators on the effects of near-shore extraction on coastal erosion and sediment movements.  In special cases we conduct laboratory tests and field trials to provide additional reassurance that modelled findings are robust.

Managing risks and extending the life of mine water assets

Mining facilities usually include major water management assets such as water supply and tailing dams. These dams brings risk of failure and consequent risks to life and environmental damage. We have international experience in the inspection and condition assessment of dam, and in dam break risks. We offer advanced techniques in preventative remote monitoring of dam condition. This is especially cost-effective for ‘legacy’ tailing dams where there are fewer personnel on site. We have developed numerical models to predict future dam capacity in view of sedimentation and to test management interventions.

Meeting power needs in demanding environments

Mining projects often generate power on site to provide security of supply and, on occasion, desalinated water. We advise clients on how to address hydraulic design issues and risks such as cooling and process water recirculation, sedimentation of intakes/ outfalls, scour and marine forces, and risks to life and assets from land or sea inundation. We apply our numerical and physical modelling expertise to guide our clients towards safe, robust and secure power supply solutions.

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We offer miners and port operators a rare combination of expertise and tools that will enhance the safety and operability of their mining operations.

We offer miners and port operators a rare combination of expertise and tools that will enhance the safety and operability of their mining operations.


Tom Matthewson

Tom Matthewson

Technical Director, Marine

+44 (0)1491 822474

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