Canadian Mining Company, Global Minerals Ltd., first contacted SPS in August 2011 on the advice of world leading mining consultants SRK.
This was to discuss the possibility of using SPS’s experience in mine water treatment to fast track the construction of a plant to remove dissolved heavy metals from up to 100m3/hr of water being pumped out of the Bana Maria mine near Roznava, eastern Slovakia.
The Overall Objective
Having successfully completed a programme of exploratory drilling, the client needed to pump over a 1million cubic metres of contaminated water out of the mine to allow access and the commencement of silver and copper mining. SRK, recommended active (chemical) treatment of the mine water and suggested that Global Minerals contacted SPS to deliver a turnkey solution.
The project provided SPS with the ideal opportunity to combine its expertise in mine water treatment and use of its modular units to deliver a suitable pre-packaged solution.
The complete plant was fabricated in the UK, using reaction tanks based around standard 20’ ISO shipping containers and lamella clarifiers from SPS’ existing range. The equipment was transported to site on 4 articulated lorries, with installation and commissioning of the plant undertaken over a 3 week period by SPS staff, with support from German partner USG.
Early water quality data indicated no more than 50mg/l of iron and 10mg/l of manganese was to be removed. However, on commencement of pumping this rapidly rose to 220mg/l iron and 80mg/l manganese.
Having previously experienced this phenomenon on other mine water projects the SPS design incorporated sufficient flexibility to cope with such a variation and we were able to rapidly reconfigure the system to cope with the additional sludge volume generated by the increased metal concentrations.