Mine Water Treatment
The mining industry uses a significant amount of water for transporting and processing ores, which is commonly sourced from rivers, lakes, bores, or pipelines. Water quality is highly important on mine sites, with different processing circuits often requiring different water quality to achieve the desired performance, and strict quality requirements for discharge/disposal. Increased water availability through higher recovery water treatment or additional water recycling are often key elements of water security for mines.
Clean TeQ Water has experience helping clients reach a range of water treatment goals, including:
- Upgrading water quality and increasing water recycling
- Treatment of raffinate/tailings to recover valuable metals
- Removal and/or recovery of metal impurities from process waters and raffinate
- Flowsheet development for mine sites
- Treatment of acid mine drainage, tailings water, and process water for reuse or disposal
We combine our diverse portfolio of technologies with conventional water treatment methods to solve a range of water treatment challenges in the mining industry. By providing customised flowsheets, we achieve the client’s specific goals, and can provide a solution which achieves higher water recovery and a range of other benefits. We provide tailored turn-key water treatment and metal recovery plants all over the world.
Targeted Contaminant Removal
Selective removal of contaminants is a key focus of our technologies. Conventional water treatment methods such as reverse osmosis are well understood and trusted in the water industry, however they are often operated at low water recovery due to the scaling potential of mine water and creating a large volume of difficult to dispose of saline brine. Clean TeQ Water’s technologies can selectively remove hardness, metal contaminants, nitrate, ammonia, and a range of other pollutants with high water recovery and minimum waste production a key focus of our technologies.
Robust Water Treatment
Mine water often has high concentrations of dissolved solids such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, and metal impurities, which can make it difficult to treat. Clean TeQ Water’s technologies are specifically designed to be resistant to scaling and fouling, which is commonly experienced by conventional water treatment processes without adequate pre-treatment.
Moving Bed Ion Exchange
Clean TeQ Water’s moving bed ion exchange technology overcomes a number of limitations faced by conventional fixed bed ion exchange systems. It can act like a sand filter if required, simultaneously removing suspended solids while performing targeting contaminant removal via ion exchange. Tolerating precipitation in the desorption column is a key feature of moving bed technology, allowing for cheaper reagents to be used and preventing blocking up. This is unique to Clean TeQ Water’s ion exchange technology and allows low cost zero liquid discharge solutions and innovative flowsheets with lime or soda ash precipitation systems.
We provide customised flowsheets with a range of technology options for sulphate removal. The moving beds used by our ion exchange technologies often allow us to create gypsum based solids as the only waste product when removing sulphate. In some cases, a combination of our CIF® (continuous ionic filtration) technology with either nanofiltration or reverse osmosis is more suitable, and can be used in a HIROX® configuration, where the brine from the membranes is used for chemical free regeneration of the ion exchange pre-treatment step.
Ammonia and Nitrate Removal
Our ammonia and nitrate removal technologies are able to meet very low target concentrations if required (< 1ppm) in all weather conditions. The technologies can also remove ammonia and nitrate from saline water, and from water with high initial concentrations (> 1,000 ppm), which can pose an issue for conventional technologies. Less/no brine/sludge and lower costs are key features of our ammonia and nitrate removal technologies, which typically convert the ammonia and nitrate to harmless nitrogen gas.
Low Energy Evaporation
Our low temperature evaporation and crystallisation technology evaporates water using a dry air stream. It has a much better resistance to silica and calcium scaling than conventional technologies since evaporation occurs away from the heat source inside the humification chamber. The system is also much easier to operate and clean since flat plate heat exchangers are used and there are no complex internal geometries in the system. Depending on the customer’s requirements, either a slurry or complete zero liquid discharge solution can be achieved.
Our water treatment technologies offer a range of benefits:
- High water recovery and selective contaminant removal
- Reduced chemical consumption
- Reduced waste volume and zero liquid discharge solutions
- Robust water treatment, typically without scaling/fouling issues