Rio Tinto case study

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Cape Lambert Port Operations has made considerable changes to how water is managed on site to ensure water is used efficiently.

Why we acted

Severe water constraints occur along the Cape Lambert leg of the West Pilbara Water supply Scheme, due to limited pipeline capacity and multiple water users off the scheme. It is therefore critical that Rio Tinto Iron Ore manages its water use to ensure others are not left short of water.

A failure of the recycled water pump, which sends recycled water back from the sedimentation ponds to the plant, went undetected for 22 days resulting in a significant loss of fresh water.

Assess your use

How we did it

We took the following actions to ensure a greater understanding and focus on efficient water use across the plant and by our personnel:

  • review of data from 12 automated meters across the plant
  • daily manual meter readings taken where necessary to determine water use across the plant
  • cleaning filters daily on the recycled water pump to increase efficiency of the pump
  • maximising the use of recycled water from the sedimentation ponds to ensure minimal fresh water is used at the plant
  • Daily Tool Box Talks were implemented to track water use from the main water meters across the site and discuss any peaks in water use.

What we are doing now

We are continuing our focus on water efficiency and constantly seeking improvement to ensure water use continues to decline whilst the output of iron ore through Cape Lambert Port continues to rise.

Who to contact

If you would like more information on water efficiency in your business please email us.