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Mining Industry

Case Study – Mine Water Solutions – Positive Water Balance

Problem Statement

A leading coal mine had a positive water balance. They were non-compliant with their water use license with an excess of 1.5MLD. The excess water was contained in pollution control dams over the mine. The excess water, which was high in TDS, conductivity and sulphates, was being discharged into a river nearby. An emergency plant was needed to solve the problem immediately, while a long-term solution is investigated.

Solution

Watericon was given a timeline of 8 weeks to design, build, installand commission the emergency mobile water treatment plant. Waterstored in the pollution control dams will be pumped to the mobile watertreatment plant, for treatment, before being discharged into a nearbyriver. Watericon made use of self-cleaning strainer (VAF) and reverseosmosis (RO) technology. The VAF unit removes any solid particles thatmay be in the pollution control dams and the RO units reduce the TDScount and sulphate concentration. 1.5 MLD of water is discharged to anearby river which is well within specification of the mine’s water uselicense. Watericon will be operating the plant for a minimum of 6 monthswith the option to extend should the need arise.

Performance Target

  • pH – 6.5-8.5
  • TDS < 100 mg/L
  • TSS < 25mg/L
  • Turbidity < 1NTU
  • Conductivity < 40 mS/m
  • Sulphate < 200 mg/L

Process

  • pH Correction
  • Biocide
  • VAF (Self-cleaning Strainer)
  • RO (Reverse Osmosis)

Innovation

Since implementing the new treatment system, our client has  the benefit of:

  • Comply with mine’s water use license
  • No overflowing of the pollution control dams
  • Being sustainable while investigating a long-term solution

Typical Plant Feed

  • pH – 7-8
  • TDS – 530-580 mg/L
  • TSS – 0.5-15 mg/L
  • Turbidity – 1-5 NTU
  • Conductivity – 80-100mS/m
  • Sulphate – 300-400mg/L