Water for Mining: Market Trends and Forecasts, 2023–2030

12 Jul 2023
Available with corporate subscription

The mining industry, often overlooked as the backbone of the global economy, is scaling to meet the growing raw material demand of the energy transition, electric vehicles, and the Internet-of-Things. 

As such, heightened focus on water is moving in parallel. Water serves as a critical resource for mineral extraction, transportation, processing, and reclamation in mining operations. The resulting impact includes increased stakeholder pressures concerned with localized water scarcity, regulatory enforcement, and operational risks—all of which are driving the industry to better address water management.

For companies active in the sector, including water solutions providers, the opportunity for more-efficient water management is on the rise. Spurred by government regulation, concern from local communities, and water scarcity, wastewater reuse and desalination are becoming increasingly pertinent in the water-stressed regions of southern Africa, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region.

The mining sector market forecast focuses on water usage, geographic differences, and key opportunities. Bluefield’s forecast methodology considers a variety of key market and macroeconomic variables, including commodity trends, inflationary pressures, facility-level usage, and policy incentives. This report lays out Bluefield’s 2023–2030 forecast for water for mining capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenditures (OPEX).

Table of Contents

Section 1: Market Drivers & Trends

  • Commodity Prices Trending Upward
  • Mining Production Trends Higher
  • Water Stress Threatens Large-scale Mining Projects
  • Changing Production Rates Respond to Industry Needs
  • Energy Transition Shaping Mineral Demands
  • Energy Transition Drives Planned Mining Investments
  • Nationalism and Tightening Resource Policies

Section 2: Water Management for Mining

  • Key Drivers for Water Management Solutions at Mines
  • Mining Sector Sways Away from Freshwater
  • Mining Water Balance
  • Mining Sector Regulatory Water Allocations
  • Large-scale Desalination Opportunities in Water-scare Areas
  • Water Recycling at Leading Mining Companies
  • Water Goals Sets to Enhance Operational Efficiency
  • Dewatering Opportunity Rises from Tailings Dam Failures

Section 3: Market Outlook

  • Forecast Methodology
  • Breaking Down Capital and Operating Expenditures
  • Year-over-Year Water Usage by Region
  • Global Water Spend for Mining by Region
  • Key Metrics Influence Opportunities for Water Providers
  • Water for Mining Overview by Country

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