The Asia Miner

JUL-SEP 2018

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Page 29 of 55

the asia miner • volume 15 • issue 3 28 WASTE TO ENERGY Kirkland Gold has awarded a contract to Veolia Water Technologies for the design and supply of a Reverse Osmosis plant to reduce chloride levels in the produced water stream at the Fosterville Gold Mine. The Kirkland Lake Gold owned and operated Fosterville Mine is a high- grade, low-cost underground gold mine located 20 kilometres from the local city of Bendigo. With an extensive exploraঞon potenঞal, the Fosterville Mine operaঞons have recently experienced a significant increase in gold producঞon. The water treatment plant soluঞon will allow Kirkland Lake Gold to conঞnue meeঞng their operaঞons license condiঞons in a sustainable way. The water treatment plant will process mine water for reuse within the process water circuit, reducing the An idea germinated by an École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) engineer in 2013 to extract value from mining waste by recycling the quartz it contains to make composite surfaces for kitchen and bathroom countertops, has been picked up by a Brzil-based mining giant. Vale, the world's largest producer of iron ore and nickel, has announced its Vale Quartz iniঞaঞve at a press conference earlier this year. In 2013, Emile Scheepers, a metallurgical engineer who was then enrolled in EPFL's Execuঞve Masters of Business Administraঞon (EMBA) program, examined the potenঞal applicaঞons of tailings derived from iron ore mining operaঞons. "We found that mining byproducts containing high levels of quartz could be used to make syntheঞc quartz, a material commonly used in kitchen and bathroom countertops," said Mr Scheepers. Syntheঞc quartz surfaces are an increasingly popular alternaঞve to marble and granite for home interiors. They are made by pulverizing quartz, mixing it with plasঞc resins and pigments, compressing the mixture, and baking it an industrial oven. The resulঞng material is non-porous and highly robust, making it easier to maintain than natural stone surfaces. "The market for syntheঞc quartz surfaces is huge – it's worth some 3 billion dollars in the US alone. The natural quartz used to make those surfaces costs over 100 dollars a metric tonne. Our recycled version is a lot cheaper," says Mr Scheepers, who now works in Vale's Swiss division. "On top of the obvious benefit of reducing waste, our method lets miners turn a valueless byproduct into something that could be highly useful," he adds. Although the Vale Quartz iniঞaঞve is sঞll in the planning stages, Vale intends to build a syntheঞc quartz producঞon plant in the mining-intensive region of Brazil. The company is also looking into other uses for its quartz- rich tailings. "Tailings are like sand, and sand is one of the most used natural resources on the planet. But it's not as abundant as you might think," says Mr Scheepers. Vale therefore hopes its tailings could replace natural sand, and that its iniঞaঞve will spur further efforts by the mining industry to turn waste into sustainable products. Recycling quartz from mining waste Reverse Osmosis Plant for Kirkland Gold Aussie operation chloride levels to < 500 mg/L. The Reverse Osmosis plant will consist of mulঞmedia and carbon filtraঞon followed by primary Reverse Osmosis and reject recovery Reverse Osmosis. "Leveraging our extensive experience in reverse osmosis technology for treaঞng mine water, we are very proud to deliver this water treatment system to enable Kirkland Lake Gold to further enhance its sustainability credenঞals by producing a high quality treated water for reuse within the mine", said Leno Cavarra, Client Execuঞve Manager Projects, Veolia Water Technologies (Australia). The water treatment plant has the capacity to treat 2 megalitres per day (ML/d) and is planned to be operaঞonal in 2019. Kirkland Lake Gold is a mid-ঞer gold producer with target producঞon in 2018 of over 620,000 ounces from mines in Canada and Australia. The producঞon profile of the Company is anchored by two high-grade, low-cost operaঞons, the Macassa Mine located in Northeastern Ontario, and the Fosterville Mine located in the state of Victoria, Australia.

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