The mining and minerals processing industry is a very large consumer of water and managing water consumption is a major issue for mining operations. Not only the high consumption of water, but the costs associated with it. From a social responsibility stand point, a mining operations reputation from an environmental performance point of view within the community is also an important consideration. Our client wanted to significantly reduce its water consumption and costs, and improve its environmental performance by optimising the water recovery process.
The experience of one of our ex Operating Mine Managers, who was familiar with operations consuming a lot more water than the township and the community connected with that area was utilised. Based on past experience, we weren’t confident that the parameters around the recycling circuit for process water, like flocculant addition or thickener underflow densities, were actually being optimised for maximum process water recovery. Working with the client in a consultative approach, we were able to perform an analysis that looked at historical data combined with real-time data. Simultaneously, multi variant optimisation of all of the parameters associated with water recovery was performed.
Taking this approach, we were able to help our client significantly reduce its water consumption and costs, and improved its environmental performance by optimising the water recovery process. This strengthened the organisation’s position in communications with the community – “yes, we are huge consumer of water, relatively speaking, but we are also the most efficient users of recycle water that can be. And we can say that with our hands on our hearts”. This was a great outcome.