Birla Mt Gordon and BioteQ Environmental Technologies are finalists in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for their water treatment process.
The process removes dissolved toxic metals from mine wastewater and maintains the mine site’s water balance.
It is environmentally and economically sustainable, producing clean water and saleable metal products that pay for the cost of water treatment.
The technology eliminates the long-term environmental liability associated with traditional treatment processes.
The Mt. Gordon mine is the first operation in Australia to adopt the technology.
Metal contaminated wastewater is one of the mining industry’s most significant environmental liabilities, occurring at an estimated 70% of the world’s mine sites.
In 2004, the minesite conducted a worldwide feasibility study to review water treatment technology for metal removal and sulphate reduction.
A sulphide precipitation process was selected as the best available technology to treat the contaminated water at the Mt. Gordon mine.
The process selectively recovers copper, cobalt, and nickel from the site’s contaminated water, producing clean water and high-grade saleable metal products that pay for the cost of water treatment.
The process reduces the long-term liability typically associated with alternative treatment processes such as lime, as it eliminates the production of metal-laden sludge.