Iluka considers water a precious shared resource, with high social, environmental and economic value. We recognise it is an essential component for our mining activities, a fundamental ecosystem requirement and a basic human right. Therefore, we have an important role in its stewardship.  

We use water in all parts of our business, including exploration drilling, mining and processing, dust suppression, rehabilitation and for drinking and domestic use in our accommodation camps. Each of our operations maintains water management plans and site-wide water balance to guide responsible water use throughout the mine lifecycle and in the context of the local catchment. Our water-related activities are regulated by relevant legislation in each jurisdiction and are subject to set quality and quantity thresholds. 

The increasing pressure on global freshwater resources is a well recognised concern for many stakeholders. We are focused on reducing our fresh water intake and maximising the reuse of water to reduce impacts on water availability at our operations in water scarce regions. We strive to continually develop efficient and improved solutions for our water use such as the use of hypersaline water and recycled water in process plants. It is standard practice across our operations to maximise the volume of water recycled.

Recognising that water connects an operation to the surrounding landscape and communities, water management at Sierra Rutile is of particular importance. Due to high rainfall in the region, Sierra Rutile is able to use rainfall and natural inflows in historic ponded areas as its water resource.
Total water use for the Iluka Group increased by 20% for 2019, attributed 
to groundwater abstraction with the commencement of mining at Cataby.

Groundwater is disturbed through the mine dewatering activity and used in  processing operations and for dust suppression. The majority of groundwater returns to the aquifer through natural drainage from mine tailings, reinjection and infiltration, with the processing operations recycling over 95% of its demand. 

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