Predicting and managing water quality impacts of mining on streams


The Framework assists with planning of future New Zealand mine developments on the West Coast of the South Island and in Southland. It is anticipated that the Framework will provide information that is useful during consent processes, access negotiation, and assessment of environmental effects. The intended audience for the Framework includes regulators, mining companies, land holders, and the community and the objective is to prevent, minimise, or mitigate mining-related impacts on water quality and aquatic ecosystems downstream of mines. Specifically the Framework provides information on collection of water, rock, and biological information used to predict water quality prior to mining, monitor discharges from mines and identify mining related impacts. The framework also provides information on methods and pitfalls in the interpretation of this information. In addition, the Framework includes information on state of the art techniques for prevention of poor water quality in mine drainages, optimal strategies for management of mine waste or overburden and remediation of mine drainages if necessary.

The Framework

Printed copy available from: Jo Cavanagh.

We consider the framework a living document and welcome feedback on your experiences of using it. Please provide comments or suggestions for improvements to Jo Cavanagh, and we will endeavor to include these comments in updated versions.

PDF Versions

Mine Drainage Framework: User's Guide - Links to the 2010 edition no longer available as this document has been superceded by the 2015 edition.

Appendices - Links to the 2010 edition no longer available as this document has been superceded by the 2015 edition.

Funding for this Framework came from the Foundation for Research Science and Technology. Research underpinning the Framework has been conducted by geologists, geochemists, biologists and environmental scientists at CRL Energy Ltd, Landcare Research, Canterbury University and Otago University. Governance and management of the research was completed by the West Coast Regional Council, Environment Southland, Department of Conservation, Solid Energy NZ, Oceana Gold, Francis Mining, the Coal Association of New Zealand, and Minerals West Coast.

FRST Contract Number: CRLX0401

Programme Leader:

James Pope

2010 Project Team

CRL Energy
James Pope
Dave Trumm

Landcare Research
Olivier Champeau
Jo Cavanagh
Rowan Buxton

University of Otago
Dave Craw

University of Canterbury
Jon Harding
Hamish Greig
Dev Niyogi







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CMER - Centre for Minerals Environmental Research