Drought in NSW, Australia – Tritton copper mine

Drought in NSW, Australia – Tritton copper mine

In late 2019 and early 2020, Tritton copper operation was impacted by drought conditions in central New South Wales, Australia. Water NSW ceased supply of water flowing to Gunningbar Creek, the draw point for Tritton to receive water from the Macquarie River System, in November 2019.1 This decision was made to protect water needs in the Macquarie Valley, with Burrendong Dam levels falling to 1.5% capacity at the end of December 2019.

From mid-November 2019, Tritton commenced utilising water stored on-site whilst a new water pipeline between the Tritton processing plant and the Nyngan-Cobar pipeline was completed.2 The new pipeline was completed in mid-January 2020 with the first water delivered to the Tritton processing plant in late January 2020. The pipeline ensured that the remaining water allocation for the financial year could be delivered.3

The Tritton mine was forecast to run out of water by February 2020 and had to work with the NSW Government to construct and commission the aforementioned pipeline in order to assure continuity of operations. 4