Gradiant, a global solutions provider and developer for advanced water and wastewater treatment, has announced partnerships with SLB (formerly Schlumberger), Rio Tinto and an Australia-based global mining company to, it says, improve productivity and sustainability in the mining industry with a focus on reducing carbon and water footprints.
The projects are in the US and Western Australia for resource recovery of critical minerals and industrial process water.
Gradiant’s collaborations with SLB and the Australia-based global mining company target the recovery of valuable metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt. The mining of these materials is highly complex and water intensive. Moreover, with increased market demand and environmental regulations, businesses must identify cost-effective and sustainable technologies. Gradiant’s technologies enable sustainable, efficient and economical water governance through end-to-end customised solutions, it says.
Gradiant’s work with SLB integrates Gradiant’s technologies to concentrate lithium solution with SLB’s direct lithium extraction (DLE) and production technology process – allowing reduced time-to-market and environmental footprint for lithium extraction. The solution enhances the impact of the sustainable lithium extraction process by enabling high levels of lithium concentration in a fraction of the time required by conventional methods while reducing carbon emissions, energy consumption and capital costs compared with thermal-based methods, the company says.
For Rio Tinto, Gradiant will deliver a new facility in Western Australia to replace ageing facilities by employing the company’s proprietary RO Infinity membrane technologies and SmartOps Digital AI into existing mining operations. Gradiant has introduced two chemical-free technologies into operations to minimise chemical consumption and waste discharge, it said.
Lastly, Gradiant’s RO Infinity and SmartOps technologies will concentrate complex wastewater from nickel and cobalt production at a new facility in Western Australia for a global mining company, resulting in up to 75% cost savings with lower carbon and water footprints compared with conventional technologies, it says.
Prakash Govindan, COO of Gradiant, said: “Mining is a uniquely complex industrial sector with challenges of remote locations, large volumes of waste, wide fluctuations in water quality and the high-value end-product that demands relentless design and operations efficiencies. The real opportunity for water technology in the mining industry is resource recovery in wastewater coupled with machine learning AI. We are excited to work with the world’s leading mining operators to enter a new era of sustainable resource recovery. This is made possible by Gradiant’s deep understanding of the complex chemistry that underlies the production processes, which is then operationalised by machine learning digital technology.”