Tag Archives: water treatment

Newmont Porcupine racing towards start up of state-of-the-art water treatment plant

Newmont’s Porcupine mine has hoted Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, on site, alongside members of his cabinet, to announce its new state-of-the-art water treatment plant at the Canadian mine.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, Newmont made a $160 million investment into the new plant, which will benefit the entire ecosystem and surrounding watershed through the collection, treatment and return of impacted water. Provincially, this plant will have among the lowest effluent discharge limits within the mining sector, the company claims.

The investment, Newmont says, demonstrates how industrial and environmental interests can be aligned, and is a strong example of the company’s commitment to sustainable and responsible mining.

Newmont anticipates that construction of the plant will be completed before year end and begin discharging in 2023. Once operational, the plant will return up to 13 million cu.m of treated clean water to the Mattagami, Frederickhouse and Upper Kapuskasing watersheds.

The company said: “After more than a century of mining in Timmins, the next phase of operations at Porcupine is an opportunity to support regreening the region, significantly improve site water management and support the local watersheds while maintaining employment and economic benefits for Northern Ontario communities, local First Nations and the government.”

Since 1910, the historic Porcupine mining district has produced more than 67 Moz of gold, with the modern Porcupine mine being the largest employer in Timmins, with more than 1,200 employees and contractors, the company says.

Dawid Pretorius, General Manager for Newmont Porcupine, said: “Investments like the new water treatment plant that we are announcing today are only made possible by the steadfast commitments of our employees, all levels of government and our Indigenous communities and partners. I would like to thank all involved for their dedication to upholding our reputation as an industry leader in safe, sustainable and responsible mining.”

BQE Water to provide plant operations services for Minto Mine water treatment plant

BQE Water has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with Minto Metals Corp to provide plant operations services for an existing water treatment plant at Minto Mine, some 240 km northwest of Whitehorse, Yukon, through to 2024.

Under the agreement, BQE Water will be responsible for clean water production at the Canadian mine where the final effluent must meet stringent requirements not only for metals but ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to protect the aquatic life in the receiving environment. Included in the operations services provided by BQE Water will be on-site technical supervision, coordination with Minto’s environmental and metallurgical team to maximise the volume of water discharged into the environment, operator training, and on-site and off-site engineering support.

BQE Water’s compensation will be composed of a base monthly fee and a supplemental fee for the volume of water treated that meets discharge specifications. It is estimated the plant will treat and discharge 400,000 cu.m of mine water for the remainder of the year and approximately 750,000-1,000,000 cu.m of mine water in each subsequent year of the current contract.

“We are highly appreciative of the responsiveness and technical proficiency provided by BQE Water to address the concerns we had with our water treatment plant,” Loralee Johnstone, the VP of Environment and Social Governance for the mine, said. “The transition to their operations has been systematic and transparent, with the resulting operational work surpassing our expectations.”

David Kratochvil, BQE Water’s President & CEO added: “We value the opportunity to help Minto achieve its environmental and social governance goals. We also look forward to collaborating with the Selkirk First Nation to achieve sustainable and transparent water management at the mine.”

As part of its role at Minto, BQE Water has engaged in discussions with the mine and the Selkirk First Nation about creating an active role for the local community to participate in clean water production at the site to ensure the continued protection of land and water for countless generations in the future.

The Minto mine has been in operation since 2007 with underground mining commencing in 2014. The current mine operations are based on underground mining, a process plant to produce high-grade copper, gold and silver concentrate and all supporting infrastructure associated with a remote location in Yukon.

ACCIONA to build seawater desalination plant for Collahuasi in Chile

The mining company Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi (CMDIC) has awarded ACCIONA the design and construction of a seawater desalination plant at Collahuasi’s Patache Port, 70 km south of the city of Iquique, in the Tarapacá region of Chile, ACCIONA says.

The project, which is part of the “Infrastructure Development and Productive Capacity Improvement Plan” for CMDIC’s operations in the Tarapacá region, also includes ACCIONA’s operation and maintenance of the plant for two years, with an option to extend for another three years.

The desalination plant at the Patache Port will have an initial capacity of 1,050 liters per second. The project includes the execution of maritime works and a pre-treatment system, as well as the development of reverse osmosis and post-treatment technology to guarantee the availability of water resources, the quality of which must be adjusted to the different operating conditions of the mining company.

CMDIC is one of the major Chilean mining companies engaged in the extraction and production of copper concentrate, as well as one of the largest in the world.

The construction of this new seawater desalination plant consolidates ACCIONA’s position as one of the leading companies in the water treatment business for mining operations in Chile, it says.

BQE Water to remove selenium and sulphate from mine water at US mine

BQE Water says it has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with a US-based mining project to provide water treatment services for the simultaneous removal of selenium and sulphate in compliance with environmental regulations.

Under the agreement, BQE Water will provide plant commissioning and operations services for an initial period of four years following completion of the plant performance test. Compensation for operations services consists of a base monthly fee and a supplemental fee for the volume of water treated that meets discharge specifications.

The agreement comes after BQE Water completed process engineering design work in 2020 and 2021 to upgrade the existing water treatment plant at the project site to enable the removal of both selenium and sulphate to below regulated limits, which are among the most stringent globally, it said.

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “This project is truly exciting for us. First off, the requirement for the simultaneous removal of selenium and sulphate allows us to push our expertise and leadership in key areas of modern mine water treatment. Secondly, it is gratifying to work with a major metal producer who understands the role of water in today’s resource projects and the value of having specialists operate plants which enables the project owner to focus on their core areas of expertise.”

Detailed engineering for the plant retrofit is nearing completion with the project currently in the construction phase. The plant is expected to complete commissioning in the first half of 2022.

Clean TeQ Water to test BIONEX water treatment solution in Inner Mongolia

Clean TeQ Water says it has been awarded a contract to design, procure, deliver and install a BIONEX water treatment plant at a coal mine in Inner Mongolia, China.

Clean TeQ Managing Director, Sam Riggall, said: “We have persisted for a long time to make inroads into the very large Chinese water treatment market. As we move towards the proposed demerger of our water business later this year, it is pleasing to see that we have achieved some initial success in that important market as we continue to make good progress on our goal of growing revenues.”

The BIONEX solution is a combination of the company’s Continuous Ionic Filtration and BIOCLENS (bacteria encapsulated in a protective PVA lens) technologies, which, the company says, has been demonstrated to be highly effective for removal of nitrate from wastewater.

“This market is growing rapidly due to increasingly strict regulation and increasing safety concerns over the disposal of waste waters with even very low levels of nitrate,” CleanTeq said. “Nitrate removal from water effluent is a significant challenge throughout China.”

The plant has been designed to treat and remove nitrate from 12,000 cu.m /d of coal mine in-pit ground water to below 1 parts per million in order to comply with local regulations governing the disposal of mine water.

The contract, which is valued at approximately A$2 million ($1.55 million), has been awarded to the company’s wholly owned Beijing-based subsidiary by Beijing Beihua Zhongqing Environment Engineering Technology Co Ltd. (BHZQ). BHZQ is a subsidiary of Beijing Enterprise Water Group (BEWG).

BEWG is a diversified water company focused on operating water assets throughout China. It is also one of the largest water treatment companies in Asia, CleanTeQ said, adding that BHZQ had expressed an interest in ongoing cooperation once this first BIONEX plant is successfully commissioned.

Once completed, this application will be the company’s first ever large-scale application of BIONEX in China.

Water treatment plant starts up at Anglo American’s Aquila met coal project

Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business says it is now operating the first of two state-of-the art reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plants at its Aquila project in the Bowen Basin, Queensland.

The aim of the RO plants is to reduce the use of fresh water in its mining operations.

Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, Tyler Mitchelson, said the A$5 million ($3.9 million) water treatment system was currently treating two megalitres of mine affected water (MAW) a day and supporting construction of the Aquila Mine, near Middlemount in central Queensland.

“A key target in Anglo American’s global Sustainable Mining Plan is to reduce our reliance on fresh water by 50% by 2030 across our mine sites, and I’m pleased to say Aquila is currently sourcing recycled water during construction of the mine,” Mitchelson said.

“A planned second RO plant will to be used to recycle a further 2.4 megalitres of MAW – once Aquila becomes operational in early 2022, more than doubling capacity and helping to reduce the reliance on water from local sources during times of drought.

“Aquila will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced underground mines and will showcase our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining. The project is currently supporting 500 jobs.”

Aquila, owned 70% by Anglo and 30% by Mitsui & Co Ltd, will extend the life of Anglo’s existing Capcoal underground operations by six years and continue to use the associated infrastructure at the Capcoal complex as its nearby Grasstree Mine approaches end of life, Anglo says. The mine will also continue to adopt Anglo American’s FutureSmart Mining™ program, which applies innovative thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major operational and sustainability challenges, the company said. One of the initiatives the company is working on as part of this is remote operation of the longwall; a process the company has trialled at some of its other Bowen Basin coal mines.

Aquila’s Project Director, Tony Willmott, said the A$240 million Aquila Mine was committed to awarding contracts locally.

“Our Aquila project is progressing well, with support from its Queensland-based workforce and contracting partners. More than 90% of our Aquila contracts have been awarded to Queensland-based suppliers,” Willmott said. “Aquila’s integrated network of pipes and pumps is securing the distribution of high-quality water which is necessary in metallurgical coal mining for equipment cooling and coal cutting operations.”

Multotec, Clean TeQ bring mine effluent treatment solution to Africa

Multotec Process Equipment and Clean TeQ Water have combined to offer the Africa market a game changing reverse osmosis (RO) technology solution able to truly unlock the significant potential of resin chemistry for effective mine effluent treatment, Vincent Ridgard, Process Engineer at Multotec Process Equipment, says.

Treating effluent on mines often makes use of RO technology, Multotec says, but low recoveries can raise costs substantially. A continuous counter current ion exchange can provide a fit-for-purpose solution, according to Ridgard, who notes that RO was initially designed to remove monovalent salt molecules from sea water.

“However, wastewater on mines also includes divalent and trivalent elements, which cause scaling of membranes in RO systems,” he says. “This means that when a standalone RO plant is utilised to treat these waters, it is operated at lower recoveries to enhance the lifespan of the membranes.”

This results in large volumes of highly concentrated brine streams, he says, which are either recirculated within the system or require very expensive effluent treatment systems. To address these challenges, Multotec offers niche technologies suited to treat divalent and trivalent elements in water on mines.

“Through our close partnership with Clean TeQ Water, in Australia, we offer mines across Africa a continuous counter current ion exchange technology,” Ridgard says. “This uses resin, which is more selective to extracting larger molecules.”

As a result, these systems achieve high recoveries of over 90%, so process water can be re-used within the mine’s process circuits or discharged safely to the environment. The resin-based chemistry removes target species, selectively extracting contaminants through exchanging ionic functional groups engineered on the resin beads.

Ridgard notes that, while these scientific principles are well accepted, there has previously not been a suitable technology to truly unlock the significant potential of resin chemistry. Clean TeQ’s ‘moving bed’ solution – supplied to the Africa market by Multotec – is, therefore, a game changer.

In contrast to the conventional fixed-bed systems, the use of resin transfer mechanisms allows the continuous ionic filtration to handle up to 150 parts per million of solids, whereas conventional systems need a 100% clean liquor. Total suspended solids and total dissolved solids can, therefore, be simultaneously removed.

It also optimises the inventory of resin, a significant cost contributor to the overall plant, and provides high water recoveries. Other benefits include its low power consumption and ability to recover valuable trace metals as a by-product.

BQE Water hits Selen-IX milestone at Kemess gold project

BQE Water says it has successfully completed the commissioning and performance test of the first industrial scale plant using its patented Selen-IX™ process for selenium management.

The installation at the Kemess property in northern British Columbia, Canada, owned by Centerra Gold has, since late August 2020, operated continuously. It has treated 65 litres/s (5,600 cu.m/d) of mine-influenced water to produce effluent containing selenium concentrations of less than two parts per billion, BQE Water said.

Fully staffed and operated by BQE Water with support from Centerra Gold mechanical and electrical maintenance personnel, the plant is expected to operate until the end of October and then shut down for the winter season. Plant operations are expected to restart in the Spring of 2021, BQE Water says.

Selen-IX was developed by BQE Water specifically to address the difficult to remove ‘selenate’ form of selenium from mine-influenced waters employing a physico-chemical, instead of biological, method of treatment.

As the Kemess mine plant enters the operations phase, Selen-IX becomes the first commercially available non-biological treatment process to be applied on a large industrial scale capable of removing selenate to levels below two parts per billion, BQE Water said. This is achieved without the risk of inadvertent organo-selenium production that is associated with biological systems. Additionally, the solid residue produced by Selen-IX is stable and is suitable for blending with tailings.

“This plant provides confirmation that a proven non-biological treatment approach for selenate is now available, something that has been lacking since selenium regulations were first introduced,” the company said.

Ron Hampton, Project Director for the Kemess project at Centerra Gold, said: “We are pleased that the water treatment plant met the conditions of the performance test, which is a major milestone for our project. The ability to effectively control selenium is key to the future operation of the Kemess underground project.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, added: “Centerra Gold’s exemplary commitment to a clean environment enabled us to first pilot and then implement Selen-IX on the basis of delivering a selenium management solution with superior outcomes compared to treatment systems used at other mines. I am extremely proud that we delivered on that promise.”

Centerra Gold is looking to re-establish the former operating Kemess site into an underground mine and processing facility, able to operate over a 12-year mine life, according to a 2016 feasibility study.

ABB goes up a level with new LST200 measurement device

ABB has launched a new feature-rich ultrasonic level transmitter that, it says, is designed specifically for industries with large installed bases of level measurement devices, particularly water and wastewater treatment, which could find its way into the flotation process.

With its modular design and intelligent algorithms, the LST200 is easy to install, commission and maintain and stable in use, decreasing total expenditure over the product’s lifetime, according to the company.

“Commissioning the LST200 is easy thanks to a set-up menu that guides customers through configuration within one minute,” ABB says. “Operating the device is easy because the LST200 has a blue backlight that makes it highly visible even in strong sunlight or darkness in locations such as lagoons and settling ponds. Maintaining the device is easy because it offers real-time echo waveform and diagnostic messaging for efficient troubleshooting.”

High stability is achieved by a sophisticated algorithm that enables the LST200 to detect and automatically compensate for any instability in the strength of the ultrasonic signal. This makes the LST200 a good choice in process basins for aeration, chlorine contact, skimmer tanks, sedimentation, and flotation thickeners where there can be unstable surface echo from foam or turbulence, according to ABB.

An algorithm with noise filtering, meanwhile, makes the LST200 useful in wet wells, lift stations and pumping stations because it is immune to noise from heavy equipment such as variable speed drives. Temperature compensation is another key feature, with the LST200 offering reliable accuracy that is better than +/-3 mm or 0.25% of full span, ABB says.

Submersible in water, the LST200 can survive flooding. It has a waterproof rating of IP68 relevant for the water and wastewater industries.

“A non-contact instrument made from polycarbonate, it is resistant to process liquids such as mild acid and base, chloride and oxidiser, making the routine work for cleaning unnecessary,” ABB says. “For open channel flow measurement, built-in equations and supporting software prevents the need for any manual calculations, saving the user time and effort.”

Jack Wang, Global Product Manager for Ultrasonic Level Transmitters at ABB, says: “Thanks to its modular design, user-friendly interface and built-in intelligence, it meets our customers’ key requirements for ease and reliability when they are considering total expenditure on the device from purchasing, to installation and maintenance.”

Tsurumi ups the slurry pumping ante with GPN 837

Tsurumi has released a new heavy-duty slurry pump that, it says, almost doubles the output of its predecessor pumps.

Coming with a water output of up to 9,000 litres/min, the new GPN 837 is the top model in the series, topping the GPN 622.

“However, ‘water’ can hardly be taken literally: declared as a “heavy sand pump”, the GPN 837 is intended for use wherever considerable amounts of solid matter are involved,” the company says.

This includes gravel pits or where sand, sludge, slurry and preferably also bentonite are involved. Mining is also a target market.

With these applications in mind, the engineers designed the pump with a solid construction. At 150 litres/s, hard rock up to 30 mm in size can pass through the pump with ease. Also, the agitator at the suction opening mixes mud and water so that the solution becomes more fluid.

The pump comes with a dry weight of 815 kg, a height of roughly one meter, is driven by an electric motor with 37 kW (400 V) and can pump vertically up to 24 m. When submerged, it is pressure-resistant to a depth of 30 m, the company says.

The water is diverted in a spiral around the pump – a design to counter the high abrasive effect of the pumped medium – while the impeller and suction plate is made of chrome cast iron, the housing of grey cast iron GG 20. For critical elements such as the double inside mechanical seal, the manufacturer uses silicon carbide. Tsurumi´s oil lifter, which lubricates the pump shaft in any position reliably by centrifugal force, is also a feature.