Process Recycle Water Optimisation

Managing water consumption is a major issue in mining operations. Recently, one of our clients, in collaboration with Interlate, significantly reduced its water consumption and costs, and improved its environmental performance by optimising the water recovery process.

Brett Harries, Interlate’s Technical Lead, speaks about this:

“The mining and minerals processing industry is a very large consumer of water. When I was Operating Manager at a mine in Australia, the situation was that the operations were consuming a lot more water than the township and the community connected with that area. As Operating Manager, I could see that the problem was not only the high consumption of water, but the costs associated with that. Importantly, this would also reflect upon the mine’s reputation from an environmental performance point of view within the community.

At that time, we were unable, with our hands on our heart, to say that we were maximising the recycling of process water. I wasn’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.

Due to my time in mining operations and my experience working at Interlate, I can recognise that, with the development of the Interlate process and tools, we are now able to perform an analysis that looks at historical data combined with real-time data. Simultaneously, we can perform multi variant optimisation of all of the parameters associated with water recovery.

This strengthens 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. Then there is the fact that you get the cost benefit of not having to buy fresh water.”

Brett Harries
Technical Lead, Interlate