The economic implications of reusable technology in mining cannot be overstated. Technology that allows repeat use not only reduces landfill, it ensures a healthier bottom line.
Ray Anderson, Managing Director of Australian wastewater treatment company Aerofloat, told National Mining Chronicle how the company has embraced this principle.
“One of the biggest challenges is ensuring the mining industry uses technology that doesn’t just offer a one-one solution,” he said.
“Mine sites move on once resources are depleted – the trucks, drills, offices and dwelling structures have been developed for repeat use at a new site – it’s now an expectation. Wastewater treatment technology should be the same.”
According to recent Australian Bureau of Statistics findings, the expenditure for total mineral exploration in Australia increased by 1.7% or $9.4 million to a staggering $573.9 million in March 2019 quarter, making solutions like Aerofloat’s reusable wastewater treatment systems integral in helping miners cut down on costs.
“Cost-effective solutions are vital, as is fabrication and delivery to site,” Mr Anderson said.
It is important wastewater systems can be manufactured off-site so they can be ready for immediate installation once a site is given the go-ahead.
Aerofloat’s Australian team manufactures wastewater treatment systems locally, avoiding unnecessary overseas import delays, and installs the system onsite to suite the required build schedule. It uses lightweight polyethylene (PE) tank designs which make the system durable and transportation easier.
Aerofloat’s lightweight cylindrical PE tanks can be fitted with unique aeration lance and decanting mechanism when transported to alternative sites, to enable rapid installation.
The sewage treatment plant blowers, control panel and other mechanical components can fit into a shipping container. “Aerofloat makes it easy to install and ensures the plant can begin operating immediately,” Mr Anderson said. “The mechanical components of the treatment system arrive in a container fully assembled, pre-wired and ready to go.”
In addition to the economical and easy transportation benefits of the lightweight design, Aerofloat offers a unique, patented lance aeration system and a unique air-locked syphon decanter in its sequence batch reactor (SBR) process. Both these key components are easily fitted and easy to remove from the tanks. In addition, there is no regular cleaning or membrane replacement required with the AeroSBR.
“Wastewater treatment systems need to perform at optimal level regardless of the unforgiving environmental conditions of isolated mining sites,” Mr Anderson said. “Identifying issues early is important.”
Aerofloat’s simple program logic controllers and human machine interfaces with optional remote monitoring capability allow its engineers to assist local operators with plant operations immediately, regardless of their location. “Remote monitoring by our engineers means Aerofloat can provide support to staff on-site, in real-time,” Mr Anderson said.
Aerofloat is an Australian company with local manufacturing and engineers. With numerous repeat clients and referral-based projects, it has a strong history of completing projects on time and on budget.