Green Mining | WaterSmart – Management of the water balance and quality in mining areas
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WaterSmart – Management of the water balance and quality in mining areas

Name: Management of water balance and quality in mining areas

Acronym: WaterSmart

Duration: 1.12.2014-31.5.2016

Total costs (€)/Tekes support: 1 050 000/630 000

Leading research organization partner: Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE

Contact persons: Kirsti Krogerus, SYKE, kirsti.krogerus(at)

Antti Pasanen, GTK, antti.pasanen(at)

Ulla-Maija Mroueh, VTT, ulla-maija.mroueh(at)


Research organization partners: Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Geological Survey GTK, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Company partners: Outotec Oyj, EHP-Tekniikka Ltd, ÅF-Consult Ltd, Yara Finland Ltd and Boliden Kylylahti

Number of other publications and reports: 7

Need and motivation of the project: The project focused on developing the management systems of waters in mining areas. A consistent approach is required to help mining companies identify risks and opportunities related to the management of water resources in all stages of mining.

Main set targets: One aim was to exploit on-line water quantity and water quality measurements so that these measurements shall serve better the objective to manage water balance. The second objective was to develop mathematical models used to calculate water balance, as well as to test and develop the suitability of the models in the water balance calculations. The third aim was to sort out how the monitoring and modeling tools can be integrated into the management system and process control.


Key results

 SYKE developed a constantly updated management and forecasting system for water balance including both natural waters and process waters. The on-line measurements have been linked to the model as well as weather data and forecasts. The groundwater models can be connected to surface water simulation by percolation input.

GTK has developed groundwater modelling and hydrogeological studies.  A better description of hydrogeological structures in the mine site diminishes uncertainties of the groundwater model applications. Light and inexpensive methods were tested for measuring groundwater balances in bedrock. The results of ground water monitoring suggest that a better water balance management needs on line monitoring of ground waters as well as surface waters.

VTT has developed tools suitable for mine specific site-wide water quantity and quality modelling using GoldSim platform and shown that dynamic linking of the tools needed for site-wide water balance modelling as separate modules to the platform is possible. The modelling consists of geochemical (reactive geochemistry), operative (on-line analysis (when available) or laboratory analysis – real time forecasting) and reactive transport (water, heat and solute transport in 3D in variably saturated media) modules.

A report on challenges, needs, principles and practices of sound mine water balance management has been compiled. Different actors and stakeholders on the sector can use the report in planning and management of water balance related activities in different life cycle stages of mines.


Commercialization measures and/or potential

Project partners have participated in two workshops led by Outotec Oyj on commercialization of the Water balance management tools based on use of GoldSim platform and linked modelling, monitoring and data tools (VTT) and based on WSFS watershed simulation and forecasting model (SYKE). There is high potential and need for commercialization of water balance modeling including groundwater balance through groundwater flow modeling and monitoring.



List of publications

Punkkinen, H.; Räsänen, L.; Mroueh, U-M.; Korkealaakso, J.; Luoma, S.; Kaipainen, T.; Backnäs, S.; Turunen, K.; Pasanen, A.; Kauppi,S.; Krogerus, K.; Vehviläinen, B. & Hentinen, K.  2016. Guidelines for mine water management. VTT Technology xx. 2016. In print.

Hentinen, 2016. WaterSmart-project case report – Groundwater modelling at Luikonlahti and Siilinjärvi mine sites. GTK Archive report. (under review)

Krogerus, K. Kolhinen, V., Vento, Pasanen, A., Larkins, C., T., Jakkila, J., Hentinen, K., Luoma, S., Korkealaakso J., Majaniemi, J., Pullinen, A., Huttunen, M., Korppoo, M., Vehviläinen, B., Kaipainen, T., Mroueh U.-M. 2016. Management of water balance and quality in mining areas. Finnish Environment xx. 2016. (under preparation)

Luoma, Majaniemi, Kaipainen & Pasanen, 2016. GPR survey and field work summary in Siilinjärvi mine during July 2014 GTK Archive report. (under review)

Luoma, 2016. Groundwater flow modelling with MODFLOW at Siilinjärvi mine (working title).  GTK Archive report. (under preparation)

Pullinen, 2016. YARAn Siilinjärven kaivoksen hydrogeologiset tutkimukset – Kenttätyöraportti 23.6.-16.7.2014. GTK Archive report. (under preparation)

Pullinen, 2016. Luikonlahden hydraulimittaukset 23.6.-16.7.2014. GTK Archive report. (under preparation)