Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA) recently awarded a contract for treating intermediate brine solutions at the Ranger mine site to Osmoflo. Peter Anderson, Technical Studies Manager at ERA, said that “Osmoflo will provide a key new element in the company’s integrated water treatment and management system. The new plant will increase the flexibility and capacity to treat contaminated water at the Ranger mine, generating release water quality consistent with the highest standards of environmental protection during rehabilitation activities.”
ERA is one of the longest continually operating uranium producers in the world with the Ranger mine located 8 km east of Jabiru and 260 km south east of Darwin, in the Northern Territory, Australia. Osmoflo will provide a 3,000 m3/day Osmoflo Brine Squeezer (OBS) plant at the mine to help maximise the conversion of contaminated waste water to water for environmental release.
This will be a significant OBS installation for Osmoflo and ERA, with construction of the plant expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The contract includes operations and maintenance of the plant, which is expected to operate until all processing and major rehabilitation activities cease at the mine.
Emmanuel Gayan, Managing Director & CEO at Osmoflo said the company is delighted to continue its work at the Ranger mine site. In partnership with ERA, Osmoflo conducted extensive pilot studies prior to this contract award to ensure the right solution is delivered to ERA to solve their unique water requirements. This is the third major installation by Osmoflo at the Ranger site since 2008, with the continued relationship illustrating ERA’s trust in Osmoflo’s water treatment solutions, and strengthening their credentials in ‘difficult-to-treat’ water applications.
Osmoflo’s Innovation & Technology Manager, Hiep Le, commented that “the scale of this project will establish OBS [Osmoflo Brine Squeezer] as a viable Minimum Liquid Discharge solution for most industrial requirements. In addition, it sets us up as a frontrunner with a technology differentiator in the emerging market of mine closure/rehabilitation.”
Osmoflo explained that the patented Brine Squeezer technology concentrates the reject water from a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. Using specialised membranes and specifically developed membrane cleaning and operating regimes, the plant can deliver overall recovery levels as high as 95% or more, thereby significantly reducing the volume of brine that needs to be treated by more costly forms of technology. Utilising a high pressure circuit, the Brine Squeezer operates at or above the scaling threshold of sparingly soluble salts and can concentrate the feedwater up to a level of 130,000 Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) mg/L.