Feb 15, 2021

New mine taps water recycling technology

New mine taps water recycling technology

The first of two state-of-the-art reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plants is online at at Anglo American’s $240 million Aquila coal project, near Middlemount in Central Queensland.  

Chief executive officer of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, Tyler Mitchelson, said the $5 million water treatment system was treating two megalitres of mine affected water (MAW) a day and supporting construction of the new mine.  

“A key target in Anglo American’s global Sustainable Mining Plan is to reduce our reliance on fresh water by 50 percent by 2030 across our mine sites, and I’m pleased to say Aquila is currently sourcing recycled water during construction of the mine,” Mr Mitchelson said.

“A planned second RO plant will to be used to recycle a further 2.4 megalitres of MAW – once Aquila becomes operational in early 2022, more than doubling capacity and helping to reduce the reliance on water from local sources during times of drought.

“Aquila will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced underground mines and will showcase our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining. The project is currently supporting 500 jobs.”

The Aquila project will extend the life of Anglo American’s existing underground operations at the Capcoal complex.

Aquila project director Tony Willmott said construction was progressing well, with more than 90 per cent of contracts having gone to Queensland-based suppliers.

Last financial year, Anglo American invested $2.83 billion with Queensland suppliers, which was 77 per cent of the company’s total expenditure in Australia.