MINING & INDUSTRIAL SOLUTIONS
- Remove scale and build-up from pipes / valves / fittings
- Save on downtime and maintenance, increase safety
- No flow limitation
- Prevent and remove mineral build-up without chemicals
- Improve irrigation in heap-leach mining
- Remove odours and deposits from wastewater tanks
MINING CAMP TREATMENT
Mining towns are located far from pre-existing towns and far from long established cities that have established water provision and high quality water. The challenge is to provide suitable water for the miners who are resident in the new town. When the solution is using groundwater, companies face high costs in replacing pipework and infrastructure if scaling occurs. Many companies install Hydrosmart before the town is occupied, to act as a scale preventative for the life of the town. Others companies see the need for descaling after changing to a lower quality water source, and then install Hydrosmart as a fix.
Australia’s three biggest mining companies use Hydrosmart for scale prevention and infrastructure management in mining towns. Each campsite or mining town houses 50-2000 people seasonally, depending on workload and mining operations. Mining camps treated have used either a single feed of large diameter, or have adopted single units on each house in the camp. Camps treated include those at Newman, Port Headland, West Angleas, Mt Isa, and New Guinea.
WATER SOURCES AND FLOW RATES
Where fresh water is limiting, or where large volumes are needed, companies may resort to recycling water, or using groundwater. Any mineral-laden water will generally cause scaling or build-up on pipes, fittings, and machinery that it comes in contact with, and this scaling can pose a significant cost to business.
Productivity is directly influenced by water quality, and by the ability to control or affect water quality at reasonable cost. Many users report a need to maintain high water flow rates, while still imposing some kind of treatment regime, in order to maximise efficiency and profits. This is where Hydrosmart is useful. Hydrosmart does not limit the flow rate of water in your application, and a section of Hydrosmart pipe fits right into your existing pipeline.
Hydrosmart is a physical water treatment system that breaks the bonds between minerals in solution, and progressively unblocks pipes and infrastructure. Hydrosmart can also be used as a preventative to protect infrastructure from scaling. Non-ferrous pipe sections that are wrapped with coils are inserted into an operations’ existing pipe system. A computer controlling the coils generates electrical fields which are frequency-modulated with respect to polarity, and these pass through the pipe into the mineralised water. Electrical wiring does not contact the water, and current draw is low. The flow of water is not impeded or limited. This technology breaks the bonds between minerals in solution, hydrating and dissolving them, and these effects are felt downstream as dissolution of build-up and scale.
In the mining field, Hydrosmart units have dealt successfully with problems of calcium carbonate, gypsum, and mixed mineral buildups. Units that are deployed range up to 300 mm diameter, and these are all operating today. Clients range from publicly listed multinationals to family owned outfits, and testimonials are available on this website. High volume Hydromaster installations include those operating at: Mt Isa, Lightning Ridge, Moranbah, Twin Hills, Blackwater, North Capel, and New Guinea.
In a typical instance, chemicals were being used for dewatering at a gold mine that handles 2 mega-litres of water in the system per day. The 110 mm pipe, which carried a load of 29000 ppm minerals, was scaled to a thickness of 15 mm. Chemicals weren’t doing the job and scaling was getting worse. The supervisor reported that “installation of a Hydrosmart not only prevented any additional build-up of scale, but actually removed the existing 15 mm of scale such that the pipe is now back to a bare black poly pipe”.
Water is also used for on-site processing of minerals. An example is a commercial heap-leach mining operation where crushed heaps are irrigated with a cyanide solution to leach silver into solution. The process recycles bore water in the silver leaching circuit and consumes anti-scaling chemicals. It has been found that use of anti-scaling chemicals can be reduced or eliminated by installing Hydrosmart to treat the process water for irrigation of the heaps. In practice, this has stopped calcium gypsum build up from forming in the pipes and sprinkler heads during the recovery process, and was monitored with a scale coupon.
SAFETY AND CONTINUITY
Health of workers is a focus of productive operations. Frequent or regular replacement of pipes is a hazard, because workers are exposed to the pipe’s contents which are often harmful, and companies also face considerable downtime in pipe maintenance, and the expense of pipe replacement. Use of Hydrosmart technology maintains an operation’s productivity by reducing downtime, and also prevents workers from contacting ores and descalants. A related issue is odour in wastewater and truck washes. Often these are applications where water is recycled. Elimination of odours is normally accomplished by chlorine, which is unsafe for workers. It has been found that use of Hydrosmart lessens the need for chlorine, and reduces odours.