Veolia Water Technologies says it has been contracted by Salt Lake Potash to supply HPD® crystallisation systems for its Lake Way potash mining project in Western Australia.
The systems will help the company produce a high-quality sulphate of potash (SOP) fertiliser, it said.
Salt Lake Potash is developing Lake Way into a 245,000 t/y SOP (K2SO4) operation, with first production expected by the end of the year. To recover low-cost, high-grade SOP, the production uses solar evaporation to concentrate the hypersaline, potassium-rich brines for salt harvesting, according to Veolia.
To further process these solids, Veolia will design and supply two HPD crystallisers: one to grow 32 t/h of high-purity potassium sulphate crystals, the other to recycle 54 t/h of solids to yield the maximum potassium recovery.
As part of this contract, Veolia provided bench-scale testing at its Phillip J. Stewart Technology centre in Plainfield, Illinois (USA). The results validated the feed chemistry, simulated the optimal flowsheet design, and confirmed process performance projections that helped to de-risk the project, according to the company.
To accelerate this fast-track project and achieve the delivery schedule, Veolia staged the progress to advance the basic engineering and testing simultaneously, it said. “These actions not only optimised capital investments but also lowered operating costs through a system design that minimises fouling and cleaning requirements,” the company explained.
Jim Brown, CEO of Veolia Water Technologies Americas, said: “We are pleased to support Salt Lake Potash in delivering natural fertilisers to a market hungry for specialty potash nutrients. Based on test work, which confirmed the process viability, our reliable proven crystalliser technology will help the flagship Lake Way project set the industry benchmark in producing high-grade SOP.”
With its HPD technologies tailored to growing fully-soluble crystals, Veolia helps global fertiliser producers optimise their recovery operations and the value of its product portfolio with a focus on enhancing environmental sustainability as well as energy and resource efficiencies, it said.