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Extracting Money from Wastewater

July 20, 2010
Copper Mining in China

Copper Mining in China / Photo: tzachernuk on Flickr

Speaking of Resource Recovery, Canadian company BioteQ Environmental Technologies, Inc has announced plans to build a wastewater treatment plant at a copper mine in China. The plant will be a joint-venture with Jiangxi Copper Company. Construction is slated to begin Q3 2010 and cost $3 million, to be shared equally.

The plant will purify produced water from the copper mine at the rate of 800 cubic meters per hour. It will extract up to 50,000 pounds of nickel and 60,000 pounds of cobalt annually from the site’s wastewater and rainwater runoff. Nickel is a corrosion resistant element used in alloys and plating. Cobalt is widely used in components of lithium-ion batteries, among other uses.

Another BioteQ and Jiangxi joint-venture treatment plant extracted 700,000 pounds of copper from wastewaster streams on-site in its first six months of operations. The acidic wastewater left untreated would have damaged the environment.

BioteQ’s process uses a proprietary ion exchange technology called ChemSulphide to extract metals from water with a 99% recovery rate, purifying the water for reuse on-site or discharge into the environment.

Not only will the treated water pass strict standards for release into the environment, but the partners gain two additional revenue streams, compensating for the cost of treating the water.

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