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A Case Study for Acid Mine Water Treatment: Rare Group

map-rare-south-africa.pngLOCATION: RARE GROUP, SOUTH AFRICA


Hydro Industries, working alongside the South African Company Rare, have developed a solution to the metal problem within mine water. The solution provides a stark contrast to conventional hazardous treatment methods. The solution, using HydroCurrent technology allows for the correction of pH and removal of metals using a small footprint treatment system with high throughput.


Acid mine drainage is a global problem with significant environmental impacts. Groundwater flows through open mine shafts running past rocks containing minerals, salts and metals. These materials leach into the flowing water, this changes the colour, pH and pollutes the water to a hazardous level. Acid Mine Drainage water is generally stored in large lagoons near the mines it derives from, this water is treated conventionally using the mineral lime. Lime corrects the pH and precipitates the metals and salts from the water, however the sludge containing these precipitated materials is harmful and costly to dispose of.



Hydro Industries has developed a small footprint high flow system which treats a wide range of polluted waters. This Hydro 400 system utilised HydroCurrent technology and pH correction to preferentially remove metals from mining wastewater. The water does not require any further pH correction post treatment and can be treated by the system at a flow rate of 40,000litres/hour.

Hydro has trialled a unit in Pretoria, South Africa achieving the above results. During this trial the Hydro unit preferentially removed Iron and Manganese from the water as sludge allowing for their further treatment and recovery.