“The first thing producers need to know when starting a project, is how much water they have at their disposal and then they must plan an efficient management strategy that allows for responsible and secure consumption. Our purpose is to create a sustainable operation that minimizes its impact on groundwater balance.”

Juan Castaño

CEO, AMPHOS 21 CHILE

August 05, 2020

How is Amphos 21 enhancing water security for its Chilean clients?

Mining in Chile is very water intensive and Amphos 21 offers services that enable efficient consumption and reuse of water. We provide precise data on the availability of water for our customers. Whether it be rivers, streams or aquifers, Amphos 21 has the capacity to identify where the water is located and how to best exploit it, while minimizing the environmental impacts of mining on water. Additionally, we are able to advise clients on the amount of water needed to carry out their operations and how to size systems in an appropriate manner.

Which of Amphos 21’s services has been most in demand in 2019?

The first thing producers need to know when starting a project, is how much water they have at their disposal and then they must plan an efficient management strategy that allows for responsible and secure consumption. For Amphos 21, this means that we have to help and supervise the construction of new underground wells, define conceptual models of how groundwater behaves at a mining site and develop and implement numerical models that allow us to predict groundwater flow and groundwater chemical behavior. Our purpose is to create a sustainable operation that minimizes its impact on groundwater balance.

Companies also have also been looking at Amphos 21 to provide sustainable reuse and feasibility analysis of water resources. We are working to implement circular economy parameters and principles in water resources, by reusing water that has already been processed for other purposes of the industrial/mining operations. One of the objectives of the government and of Amphos 21 is the treatment of sulfate contaminated water to control and minimize sulfates and metal contents in groundwater and surface water so that the quality of the environment is preserved.

What is the opportunity in tailings today and how is Amphos 21 positioning itself to capitalize on this trend?

Much progress is being made in minimising the water content of tailings. The aim is to avoid subsoil contamination due to leakage / infiltration from tailings, as well as economize the extension occupied by mine tailings. We are also working to extract water from tailings and reintroduce it in the process.

The Dirección General del Agua de Chile (Directorate-General of Water) is becoming a leader in Latin America in terms of water regulations. Amphos 21 has a deep knowledge of the regulatory framework in Latin America, as we have developed projects in many countries. The Directorate-General of Water regulations encourage companies to use alternatives to groundwater, and obtaining groundwater exploitation and usage permits is increasingly difficult. I am convinced that the use of water is very well regulated by the government in Chile and mining companies have to make efficient use of water resources. This has pushed the miners to self-regulate their use of water.

What would Amphos 21 like to achieve for the next few years?

We are very ambitious. This year, we will bring in US$3.5 million in revenue. We would like to double that figure in the coming years. We plan to do this by incorporating new services such as engineering into our business model. This will allow us to offer a more complete service portfolio to our clients and ensuring a responsible use of the water resources as a guarantee for the development of current and future generations.

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