Process water treatment improved at Australia mine site with new brine concentrator

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PLAINFIELD, IL, Dec. 17, 2013 -- A brine concentrator system was recently installed at Energy Resources of Australia Ltd.'s (ERA's) Ranger uranium mine site in the Northern Territory of Australia in order to help treat more of the operation's process water.

The system, supplied by Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, a provider in water and wastewater services and technologies, will aim to produce 1,830 megalitres of clean water annually (1.3 million gallons per day) and will play an integral part in the progressive rehabilitation activities at the mine.

Based on HPD® evaporation technology from Veolia, the system was delivered nearly three months earlier than scheduled through close collaboration between Veolia and ERA, one of the largest continually operating uranium producers in the world. An early delivery was important to ERA, as their detailed water inventory modeling indicated a need for the capacity to treat large volumes of water. Despite the accelerated schedule, there were no safety incidents in the more than 700,000 man-hours logged during equipment fabrication, construction, and system commissioning.

ERA's Ranger uranium mine site in the Northern Territory of Australia (Photo credit: Veolia)


"The brine concentrator is a critical component of ERA's future, as the successful treatment of process water is key to rehabilitating the site and ensuring our water balances are in full control," remarked ERA Chief Executive Rob Atkinson. "Without the brine concentrator, I don't believe ERA has a future."

Veolia's industrial operating group in Australia lent their assistance in the early design stages of the brine concentrator and was subsequently awarded an interim operations and maintenance contract by ERA for the system. Early involvement of Veolia Australia's operations team allowed an operator's perspective to be incorporated into the design. The Veolia operations team also provided for a smooth transition from system checkout and commissioning to full operation while allowing ERA to focus their staff in other areas of the mine.

Uranium has been mined at Ranger for three decades. Further, the mine is one of only three mines in the world to produce in excess of 110,000 tons of uranium oxide and is located eight kilometers east of Jabiru and 260 kilometers east of Darwin.

About Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies

Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies is the Veolia Water subsidiary specialized in technological solutions and design and build projects for water and wastewater treatment, serving industrial and municipal clients. Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies recorded revenue of $3.1 billion in 2012. For more information. visit www.veoliawaterst.com or www.veoliawaterstna.com.

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