A major Peruvian mining company chose Mathiesen as its Reverse Osmosis Membrane supplier to treat waters from the gold extraction process, after a number of simulations and field tests.
Gold and silver mining uses the Merrill-Crowe process, which is a separation technique to remove gold from a solution obtained by means of a cyanide leaching process. The cyanide-based technique is very simple and easy to perform. As with most industrial chemical processes, there are a series of environmental risks linked to this extraction process.
With the high level of environmental and social responsibility that characterizes the mining industry, and with sights on reducing the water footprint, these companies have wastewater cyanide detoxification (DETOX) systems by which they remove the cyanide, allowing for a responsible use of water while boosting the Peruvian economy.
Reverse osmosis treatment systems are used to dispose of the water treated through the DETOX system, thereby complying with the regulations in effect in Peru in relation to the discharge of liquid effluents in metal mining activities.
A major Peruvian mining company –a client of Mathiesen’s– that meets high environmental standards and uses reverse osmosis technology was in need of increasing the service life of its membranes, which was limited to one year on average, while maintaining the quality of the permeate to comply with environmental regulations.
Due to the high volume of water treated by osmosis systems, a significant quantity of membrane elements is involved, and their adequate selection and operation is paramount to optimizing operational costs by increasing the service life of the membranes.
Taking the client’s needs into account since mid-2020, Mathiesen’s water experts in Peru worked jointly with this mining company to determine the best reverse osmosis membrane alternative. This task involved projections using different Hydranautics membranes for some of the client’s systems, which allow for the recovery of flows of up to 250 m3/h of water. After several simulations and analyzing the information, it was determined that the most cost-effective alternative to increase their service life was membrane CPA 7 LD.
Mathiesen provided the client with a few units of CPA 7 LD membranes to perform preliminary tests and validate the data obtained during the simulations, while the operation was evaluated in search of opportunities for improvement with the goal of maintaining the recovered volumes and water quality required by the client while increasing the service life of the membranes.
After having completed the testing phase and proving the successful operation with the Hydranautics CPA 7 LD membranes, the client awarded Mathiesen Peru the supply of over 2,000 units of the CPA 7 LD reverse osmosis membrane, ratifying its trust in Mathiesen Peru’s support team and in the Hydranautics membranes.
This success story is the result of a joint effort between the client, Hydranautics as a membrane manufacturer and Mathiesen as a supplier, which ratifies Mathiesen’s objective of being a reliable supplier of state-of-the-art solutions, supported by a trained and capable technical staff.
Congratulations to Mathiesen Peru’s team for this project!