Kirkland Lake aims for zero liquid discharge at Fosterville

DESALX plant installation at the Fosterville gold mine in Victoria. Image: Clean Teq

Kirkland Lake Gold has secured a Clean Teq mine water treatment plant at its Fosterville gold mine in Victoria.

Clean Teq was engaged to design, supply and commission a two million litre a day continuous ion exchange desalination (DESALX) mine water treatment plant.

It was designed to deliver a sustainable water management solution by treating mine process water.

According to Clean Teq, the plant is the first of its type anywhere in the world.

Clean Teq stated that the plant was a key component of Kirkland Lake’s objective of creating a true zero liquid discharge solution without producing any saline brine and including aquifer reinjection.

“After successfully demonstrating the world’s first ever commercial scale CIF (continuous ionic filtration) plant in Oman late last year, this is yet another moment of great significance for Clean Teq,” company chief executive Sam Riggall said.

The handover followed the end of construction in late 2019 and commissioning and operations early this year.

The DESALX solution is suitable for purifying difficult to treat waste waters with high hardness, sulphate, heavy metals and suspended solids, which can foul reverse osmosis membranes.

Clean Teq expects to see a growing investment by mining companies into water management strategies due to tightening environmental regulations and increasing social and environmental awareness among investors.

The global mining water and wastewater treatment market is estimated to be valued at around $5 billion a year.

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