Water treatment plant receives Blue Drop certification

Friday 3rd August, 2012

Water treatment plant receives Blue Drop certification

By: Joanne Taylor
3rd August 2012

Optimum Colliery Mine Water Reclamation Plant, in Mpumalanga, has been Blue Drop-certified by the Department of Water Affairs, making it a first for reclaimed acid mine water in South Africa.

This was a joint award which also went to the Hendrina municipality and the Optimum colliery. Aveng Water not only designed and commissioned but also maintains and operates the plant.

“Acid mine water, industrial effluent and wastewater are not suitable for release into the environment, so it takes a lot of human ingenuity to design a treatment plant to achieve the requirements of environmental law,” says Aveng Water MD Khungeka Njobe.

Anglo American Thermal Coal was proactive in creating the mine water treatment process together with Aveng Water, primarily using membrane-based technology as a platform technology, to develop a treat- ment process for different treatment requirements.

“We are very strong in the membrane- technology market. We are also able to apply the technology to the seawater desali- nation process as well as wastewater reuse, which is not always meant for drinking but can be used for other applications,” explains Njobe.

The company’s growth strategy includes working with government in its effort to supply water for the economy and communities, and expanding its footprint in the mining sector, treating acid mine water to levels where it is safe for release into the environment. “Mines are realising the negative impact polluted water has on the environment and are stepping up to do something about it before the pressures of environmental law force them to do something,” adds Njobe.

The company is expanding the eMalahleni mine water reclamation plant for Anglo American Thermal Coal from a capacity of 30 m/3per day to 50 m/3per day. It is also handling the commissioning of a 5 m/3per day mobile plant at Kromdraai Opencast, near eMalahleni. Aveng Water is also in the design phase of a water reclamation plant for two major mining houses.

Aveng Water designed, built and also operates the largest seawater desalination plant in Southern Africa, the Erongo seawater desalination plant, in Namibia.

“We are working at expanding more into the seawater desalination and wastewater markets as well as using opportunities in Chile and Australia owing to the success of our technology,” concludes Njobe.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu

Link to article: http://www.miningweekly.com/article/blue-drop-2012-08-03