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New treatment technology PDF Print E-mail
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A new cost-effective and sustainable technology to treat mining wastewater and reduce sludge has been used for the first time at a commercial mine, according to CSIRO.

The technology, by Australian company Virtual Curtain, is capable of reducing sludge by up to 90 per cent and was recently used to remove metal contaminants from wastewater at a Queensland mine.

The equivalent of about 20 Olympic swimming pools of rainwater-quality water was safely discharged.

Sludge is a mud-like material that is a by-product of many conventional wastewater processes and in large volumes can be problematic because it needs to be moved and stored.

This can be timely, expensive and have a significant impact on the environment.

“Reducing the amount of sludge is beneficial because the costly and timely steps involved to move and dispose it can be reduced,” CSIRO scientist Dr Grant Douglas said.

“Our treatment produced only a fraction of the sludge that a conventional lime-based method would have and allowed the mine water to be treated in a more environmentally sound way.

“It is a more efficient and economic way to treat wastewater and is enabling the global mining industry to reduce its environmental footprint and extract wealth from waste.”

Australia’s mining industry is estimated to generate hundreds of millions of tonnes of wastewater each year, according to CSIRO, so this new technology could open up significant opportunity for companies to improve water management practices and become more sustainable.

Virtual Curtain utilises hydrotalcites, which are minerals sometimes found in stomach antacids, to simultaneously trap a variety of contaminants – including arsenic, cadmium and iron – in one step.

Dr Douglas and his team developed the technology after discovering that hydrotalcites could be formed by adjusting the concentrations of common wastewater contaminants, aluminium and magnesium, to an ideal ratio and then by increasing the pH.

“By using contaminants already present in the wastewater we have avoided the need for expensive infrastructure and complicated chemistry to treat the waste,” Dr Douglas said.

“If required, the treated water can be purified much more efficiently via reverse osmosis and either released to the environment or recycled back into the plant, so it has huge benefits for mining operators in arid regions such as Australia and Chile.

“It is a more efficient and economic way to treat wastewater and is enabling the global mining industry to reduce its environmental footprint and extract wealth from waste.”

The innovative treatment doesn’t require complex infrastructure or chemistry to apply it and the small amount of material that is leftover is often high in metal value which can be re-mined to partially offset treatment costs, according to CSIRO.

Commercialisation of the technology is currently underway.

 
Roller impresses at mines PDF Print E-mail
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Broons ‘Square’ Impact Roller is a very important tool at minesites in the UK, Europe, Hong Kong, US, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Africa, the Middle East (including the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) and throughout Australia, to rubbilise rock as a way of improving a mine’s tyre management regime.

Broons launched its revolutionary patented BH-1300 ‘Square’ Impact Roller to the world market in the mid-1980s and quickly developed a reputation as a specialist in the application and operation of rolling dynamic compaction equipment.

Broons Mine Specification (MS) Impact Rollers are now world leaders in minimising haul truck tyre wear by improving the running surface on haul roads, tip heads and pit floors.

Its purchase and use has proven a very cost-efficient move that is rapidly recouped through the savings made from improved tyre wear and reduced damage to haul trucks and their tyres.

Mining companies that have reduced the size of surface rock and improved haul roads and loading areas with the Broons MS Impact Roller have also shown it is possible to reduce mechanical wear and tear on haul truck suspension and associated components, delivering lower maintenance requirements and a reduction in spare parts costs.

Its improved frame design and heavy-duty linkage assembly can easily handle the rigours of the demanding mining industry, while the specially designed wear plate package protects the faces of the module when working on hard rock as well as improving the breaking force.

One mining executive said that so far his company had used the impact roller on dragline shutdown pads and small road building exercises.

“However, I expect that we will be using it quite a bit in the near future when we re-dress our old haul roads,” he said.

“The impact roller has the ability to crack big rocks that lie just beneath the surface, and then the small rock can be used to fill in the holes on the roads.

“We use the impact roller to compact this and then put a suitable road base on top and grade it.

“We will then compact again with the impact roller with final trim grader afterwards.

“It really does its job well, and there is no doubt that it’s got deep compaction.

“You can feel it going into the ground from 20m away on newly placed road material.”

Towed by a 270-330hp tractor the 1.3m-wide, 8-tonne (BH-1300 MS) and 1.95m-wide, 12-tonne (BH-1950 MS) modules quickly reduce the large and sharp-edged rock and allow haul trucks to travel easily without the fear of tyre damage.

Broons manufactures specialist crushing and compaction machines that are in a league of their own.

No alternative compaction equipment comes close to the Broons Impact Roller on performance, productivity and price, according to the company.

The team at Broons can discuss how your mining company can benefit from the use of this unique technology by either purchasing or hiring the equipment.

For more information: call (08) 8268 1988, email info@broons.com or visit www.broons.com.

 
Super-rugged cleaning machine PDF Print E-mail
STAFF REPORTER   

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Major steam cleaner bound for site in PNG.

 
Costs decreased PDF Print E-mail
STAFF REPORTER   

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Technology developed in Australia is expected to slash remote greenfields drilling exploration costs.

 
New pelletising technology PDF Print E-mail
STAFF REPORTER   

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Haver Australia has released a new piece of equipment.


 
Wearable safety to reinvent work PDF Print E-mail
BY BROOKE HUNTER   

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Technology could revolutionise the working day.


 
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