Digital system optimises water efficiency in mining industry

Thursday, 11 April, 2019

Digital system optimises water efficiency in mining industry

A procedure to optimise water consumption in the mining industry has been developed by researchers at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) in Germany. Mineral ore extraction requires immense quantities of water; the new digital system developed at HIF aims to optimise the extraction process by improving efficiency and reducing freshwater consumption.

The procedure digitalises real-time monitoring and process simulation, enabling water to be recycled without incurring losses during the ore enrichment process. The procedure was initially tested in the extraction of the mineral fluorite, which is enriched in a flotation process that typically consumes up to 4000 L of water per extracted ton.

A potential problem of using recycled water is that it contains chemical substances that may hamper the hydrophobisation of the fluorite. The researchers tested and observed the digitised control of mineral beneficiation in the laboratory, transferring their findings to the HSC Sim simulation software, which manages water recycling without compromising efficiency.

Additional process optimisations are planned, which may reduce water consumption to as low as 1000 L per ton.

Image credit: © Sadowski

Related News

Sydney Water enters 10-year partnership

Sydney Water has partnered with global engineering, design and advisory companies Aurecon and...

Mussels flex their surface engineering muscles

Chemical analysis of the sticky threads contained in mussels is inspiring engineering innovations...

Upgrade for Macarthur Water Filtration Plant

Sydney Water's Macarthur Water Filtration Plant in Appin, NSW, will be upgraded by the...

  • All content Copyright © 2019 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd