Water treatment for mining operations

The need to pump and treat mine water has increased in recent decades as mines have closed. Water from mines is often acidic and can contain a high concentration of metals which are very harmful to the aquatic environment if released without prior treatment.

While passive methods work in some cases, the need for an active mine water treatment system is often required. John F Hunt has considerable experience of designing, building and operating active mine water treatment processes.

The most effective active treatment process we have available is high-density sludge (HDS) system. Adding hydroxides to raise the pH causes metals to precipitate as a sludge which is recirculated to act as a seed for further metals precipitation. This two-stage process results in a much denser sludge with a reduction of 95% in volume and, as a result, the process footprint and the sludge storage requirement are much smaller. Sludge can be further dewatered as necessary.

This process can be seen in action at the Wheal Jane minewater treatment facility which we operate and maintain for the Coal Authority.

In addition to designing, building, operating and maintaining largescale treatment plant for metal pollution control, we are able to provide solutions to control the following pollutants associated with mining operations:

 Dissolved metals using passive systems

Silt & sediment

 pH Control

Oils and chemicals

Dewatering of sludge

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