Process and potable water for gold mining

Process and potable water for gold mining

Capable of producing over 1 million oz a year, Boddington is one of the largest gold mines in Australia

  • Client

    Newmont Mining Corporation

  • Technology

    Microfiltration, reverse osmosis, ultra violet disinfection

  • Location

    Boddington, Western Australia

  • Commissioned

    May 2009

  • Project Scale

    2.4 ML/d

Challenge New technologies resulting in reduced production costs have made Newmont's formerly abandoned Boddington mine once again a highly viable proposition. High quality desalinated water is required to ensure the effectiveness of the extraction process and is also used in the cooling circuits of equipment such as crushers. The mine's remote location means that potable water for mine personnel also needs to be provided. While a dam on site provides a source of supply, the quality of untreated water varies considerably due in part to climatic conditions and tends to be brackish.

Solution Reverse osmosis was the preferred solution and Osmoflo was contracted to design a system capable of dealing with varying source water quality. This consists of a micro filtration system followed by reverse osmosis desalination and ultra violet (UV) disinfection. Micro filtration pre-treats the source water by removing solids prior to its passage through the reverse osmosis membranes. Finally, the UV system kills viruses and pathogens, further ensuring water safety for potable use. Initially Osmoflo delivered a system capable of producing 1.2 million litres a day (1.2ML/d). Due to its reliable and consistent performance our client sought a doubling of capacity as infrastructure at the redeveloped mine site increased. This was provided in the form of an additional 'bolt on' plant in May 2009. A key feature of the Osmoflo installation is the high recovery rate of 75% limiting the amount of salt-laden reject water from the desalination process.

Result Consistent high level performance resulting in the regular supply of quality treated water to a standard of around 60 ppm Total Dissolved Salts.

Newmont Mining's Boddington open pit mine is one of Australia'a lowest cost gold mines. At full capacity its gold production is esimated at 1Moz's per day.