Remine Water

Solar powered water reuse and resource recovery in mining

A project that fosters the circular economy

Remine Water is a European project co-funded by the LIFE Programme that aims to minimise mining wastewater discharges and contribute to the circular economy by reusing most of the discharged water and recovering valuable substances contained within mining industry process streams.

The mining sector is an important water consumer in Europe, as water is a critical component in the operation of a mine. In spite of the improvement in wastewater treatment processes and the implementation of partial reuse of inner water flows to reduce the water footprint, water is still discharged after ensuring its quality and dissolved metals are removed through precipitation as sludge for further management as waste.

The main goal of Remine Water is to transform the current process into a circular process. Remine Water will implement this by developing a system that allows water to be reused and the by-products contained in mining wastewater, such as acids, metals and minerals to be recovered.

In particular, Remine Water will develop a pioneering treatment train to recover and reuse wastewater in the mining sector. This innovative system will be powered by solar thermal energy, thus reducing its carbon footprint and achieving a more environmental and economic process. Moreover, Remine Water will develop a treatment train to recover acids and transition metals from mining industry process streams, which will be reintegrated in the processes.

NAME: REMINE WATER

FUNDING: LIFE programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action

BUDGET:  € 1.812.708
· EU CONTRIBUTION
: € 1.812.708

DURATION : 48 months (October 2018-October 2022)

COORDINATOR: Cetaqua, Water Technology Centre

CONSORTIUM: MATSA, Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals of Poland (IMN) and NewHeat

DEMONSTRATION SITE: Aguas Teñidas Mine (Huelva, Spain)

 

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Timeline of the project REMINE WATER

Characterisation of the Aguas Teñidas Mine

Description: Characterisation of the process and wastewater treatment in the Aguas Teñidas Mine, where the pilot plants will be installed.
Duration: 3 months

Design and construction of the prototype

Description: Design and construction of the different units that form the global prototype: Ultra High Pressure RO, humidification-dehumidification system and advanced crystallisation for salinity removal, and nanofiltration membranes and electrocoagulation/electrodeposition system to recover acids and metals.
Duration: 22 months

Operation of the prototype and integration of results

Description: Start-up, operation and monitoring of the different units comprising the overall prototype. The prototype’s performance will be evaluated by monitoring the influence of the different operational parameters. Trials will focus on optimising the process in order to find the optimal operational conditions which will be used to perform a technical assessment of the technologies.
Duration: 17 months

Implementation of the circular economy in the process: water reuse, sulphuric acid and metal recovery

Description: Characterisation of the water obtained from the proposed treatment and implementing a plan to reuse it on-site. Characterisation of the acid stream recovered in the nanofiltration stage of the treatment and study its possibilities to be reused in the on-site processes in the Aguas Teñidas Mine facilities and its valuation in other targeted sectors. Characterisation of the metals recovered in the electrochemical treatment proposed and assess its on-site and off-site valuation.
Duration: 8 months

Technical, environmental and economic assessment of the Remine Water process

Description: Technical, economic and environmental assessment of the current situation in the Aguas Teñidas Mine compared to the new demonstrated scenario using a circular economy approach.
Duration: 10 months

Geographic and cross-sector replicability strategy for the solution

Description: Evaluation of the replicability and transferability of the proposed wastewater treatment process, both geographically and for other industrial sectors.
Duration: 17 months

Development of a business plan

Description: To define a business plan for the successful implementation of the innovative treatment train for different industries dealing with brines and other high-salinity wastes and the resource recovery treatment train in industrial sectors that have streams rich in transition metals and/or acids, assessing the long-term feasibility of the process.
Duration: 12 months