IM MAR 23 March 2023 | Page 64

agricultural purposes or treating it to potable specifications for social responsibility programmes .
AECI Water technologies on display at the recent Mining Indaba event in Cape Town included ‘ smart ’ ultrafiltration for process water treatment and recovery ( improves performance of reverse osmosis ( RO ) units , limits investment and operating costs , and reduces energy and water consumption due to low backwashing ); Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor ( MABR ) pilot plants for activated sludge process intensification and denitrification ( mitigates greenhouse gases and reduces energy consumption ); thickener management ; solidification of aqueous waste ; and decentralised surface and borehole water treatment skids .
acQuire ups the ante again with latest EnviroSys version
Environmental data management , including for water use and monitoring by mining operations , acQuire says is now even easier with the release of EnviroSys 9.1 . The company states : “ Our latest software release enables environmental professionals to monitor , assess and report compliance more efficiently , using environmental data they can trust . Viewing , editing and adding samples and / or results is now even easier from a single location . Improvements to data entry forms allow non-numeric data to be captured and displayed in a more structured and consistent order to match both your company ’ s internal standards and wider industry standards .”
Performance improvement and enhancements it says are front and centre in the new release , providing greater usability and functionality for environmental professionals working with a raft of environmental data . Improvements to data entry , data views , sample management and the Activities , Obligations and Compliance ( AOC ) module make EnviroSys easier to learn , use and manage .
“ Retrieve and analyse your environmental data faster with enhanced Data Views . If you ’ re working with large sets of data , EnviroSys 9.1 makes it easier and more efficient to instantly gain an overview of the status of your results and samples ; sort and search your results and samples and clearly detect any invalid samples ; view extra information included with a sample , such as attachments , notes or important metadata ; and accurately correct textual and numeric data in bulk updates . Environmental professionals will notice enhancements to EnviroSys ’ Sample Management functionality , making it easier to work with Chain of Custody ( CoC ) when managing samples and sampling activities .”
It adds : “ You can now efficiently batch and generate multiple CoCs for current and upcoming sampling schedules with minimal effort . The addition of a bulk download feature means you no longer need to access individual sample schedules one by one . Simply download multiple CoCs across schedules and groups in one go .” acQuire also says that if you ’ re using EnviroSys ’ AOC module , you ’ ll experience improvements giving you a clearer understanding of your compliance assessments by : n Improving how your overall compliance status is displayed based on your most recent compliance assessment n Catering for schedule lags from third parties , reducing false non-compliances being reported in your automatic assessments . n Adding an option for incomplete assessments to allow for obligations that can ’ t be recorded in some situations . “ Environmental data compliance has been the sole focus of EnviroSys for nearly 20 years . It ’ s an environmental data management system that provides a trusted , single source of truth for your environmental drivers , rules and data , which can be accessed and used with confidence . Because EnviroSys stores all your environmental information and rules in one spot , you can instantly assess if you ’ re compliant . You don ’ t need to become a software expert to use EnviroSys . With excellent dashboards and data visualisations , you can easily tell if you ’ re compliant .”
Weir Minerals says it is transforming tailings
In an average copper mine , 99 % of mine rock ends up in the tailings stream . With typical mineral concentrates and ore bodies below 1 %, one tonne of rock needs to be processed to produce 10kgs of copper . The miner is then left with 990 kg of waste material , which goes to the
tailings . The mining industry produces a staggering 19 billion cubic metres of tailings each
year – the biggest waste stream on the planet . John McNulty , Vice President , Global Engineering & Technology at Weir Minerals
Weir Minerals ’ proprietary TerraFlowing™ technology , which is based on this thickened tailings methodology , it says strikes the perfect balance between water stability and emissions
points out that tailings storage ponds remain the most widespread method of storing tailings today . Weir Minerals ’ Warman ® and GEHO ® pumps , coupled with its Cavex ® hydrocyclones , can ensure the safe and efficient transportation and classification of tailings in this application .
McNulty adds : “ However , with decreasing ore grades , miners are having to deal with higher volumes of tailings and larger TSFs . In some instances , it isn ’ t possible to expand the mine ’ s
footprint , which is one of the reasons many operators are exploring alternatives to traditional ponds or seeking ways to increase the capacity of existing ponds . Moreover , operating costs are also increasing on the back of rising water and energy costs , fundamentally altering the total cost of ownership equation .”
This was the impetus behind the development of Weir Minerals ' proprietary TerraFlowing™ technology , which is a dewatering process that transforms tailings into a resource .
When choosing a tailings approach the challenge for miners is to optimise water preservation and sustainable long-term stability with the lowest possible energy use and , hence , emissions . “ Filtered tailings produce a relatively dry waste and reusable water stream that can then be conveyed or transported using trucks . However , this solution is extremely energy intensive ; once the filter press has produced the cake , it then needs to be hauled , spread and compacted . The fact remains there is no onesize-fits-all solution ; each operation has to contend with unique climatic , topological and geological conditions , as well as the metal being processed , all of which influence the nature of the tailings and the possible solutions .”
He says Weir Minerals ’ Integrated Solution for thickened tailings management and transportation – where the waste stream is dewatered to remove up to around 85 % of the water , which is then recycled back to the process
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