Interview with Hu Fleming – Water Management – Meeting the Challenges Now and in the Future – Dig Deep – The Mining Podcast

In this episode, we chat with Hu Fleming, an expert,…


In this episode, we chat with Hu Fleming, an expert, and senior executive in water management. He was the head of water management for Anglo American. Here, he talks about all things water within the mining industry.

We are going to cover water topics that are maybe not obvious to many in the industry. Things that you should be aware of when making everyday decisions. Water will become much scarcer as we move into a commodities super-cycle. So, this episode is a must-listen. Enabling you to learn how to help preserve as much water as possible.


  • Hu has been working in the mining water treatment technology field for 40 years. Being involved in the extraction of all kinds of commodities.
  • Water represents around 15% of the cost of mining. A figure that surprises most mining firms.
  • Some mines have had to shut over water issues.
  • Juniors and mid-tiers are increasingly being asked about water usage plans by would-be investors.
  • Shareholders increasingly insist on the ethical use of water.
  • Climate change is impacting the water supply. Supply levels can easily change drastically during the decades-long life of a mine.
  • Water scarcity is the biggest challenge.
  • Discharge issues are becoming increasingly important.
  • Resource recovery is heavily dependent on water. Fortunately, new technologies and processes are helping to reduce this dependency.
  • Water extraction of rare earths from coal waste is now possible and starting to look viable.
  • Water permits are decreasing at a time when mining is expanding.
  • Zero liquid discharge mines are possible.
  • Mining companies need to be good neighbours and work with other associations/businesses to better manage the available water resources.
  • Mines need to be good neighbours. If they are not, they get regulated to oblivion. 


‘Miners discovered a bit late that water was so significant to their overall financial sustainability. ´

‘Shareholders have become very activist…they recognise that water generally is the largest flashpoint for communities.’

‘Every mine should be able to reuse every cubic metre of water that they have.’



Rob Tyson is the Founder and Director of Mining International Ltd, a leading global recruitment and headhunting consultancy based in the UK specialising in all areas of mining across the globe from first world to third world countries from Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia. We source, headhunt, and discover new and top talent through a targeted approach and search methodology and have a proven track record in sourcing and positioning exceptional candidates into our clients’ organisations in any mining discipline or level. Mining International provides a transparent, informative, and trusted consultancy service to our candidates and clients to help them develop their careers and business goals and objectives in this ever-changing marketplace.



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