BQE Water has signed an Operating Services Agreement to provide operations services for a water treatment plant using its Selen-IX™ process technology for selenium removal at a base metal project in south-western USA.
The plant will treat impacted waters to remove selenium and dissolved metals in compliance with permitted water quality requirements, BQE said.
Under the agreement, BQE Water will provide plant commissioning and operations services for an initial period of three years upon completion of the plant performance test. Compensation for plant operations services will consist of a base monthly fee per volume of water treated that meets discharge specifications and a supplemental fee for additional water treated for discharge.
“As we move towards decarbonisation, projects such as this will play an important role in producing the metals essential for a low carbon future,” David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said. “We are proud to be providing vital and comprehensive water management services for modern mining. From our Selen-IX process that satisfies key project criteria for low single digit parts per billion of selenium while being able to ramp up and down in response to treatment needs, to our operational expertise that guarantees plant performance as designed, we are excited to be contributing to the shift to clean energy.”
Operating 24/7 year-round, the plant has the capacity to treat up to 4,500 gallons (20,457 litres) of water per minute. The plant will first remove dissolved metals followed by selenium removal to below 2 parts per billion to produce clean water for discharge to the environment. Selen-IX, as a non-biological technology, offers superior water quality, operational flexibility and lower operating costs than competing biological selenium treatment systems.
Prior to this agreement, BQE conducted laboratory testing in 2019 to successfully demonstrate the capability of Selen-IX. This resulted in a contract partnering with Black & Veatch in early 2020 to design the Selen-IX water treatment plant, which is now in the construction phase with commissioning expected to commence in the first half of 2023.
Selen-IX is a patented process technology that, according to BQE, is currently the only commercially available non-biological treatment system that has been applied on a large scale to remove the selenate form of selenium from wastewater. Selen-IX removes selenium to below detection limits, has zero risk of acute and chronic effluent toxicity and the by-product of treatment is a stable solid residue with offtake potential, according to the company.