Africa copper mine to receive treatment plant to meet boiler feedwater, process water needs

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The inner-workings of one of the new plant's modular sections (Photo credit: Veolia)


March 12, 2014 -- The Kansanshi Copper Mine near Solwezi in Zambia, Africa, will soon receive a containerized water treatment plant to meet a number of major boiler feedwater, process water and drinking water needs.

Provided by Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa, the treatment plant is constructed into six 40-foot shipping containers designed to be linked to one another on site. They will operate as a single entity with multiple output streams to produce a combined 42.5 m3 of treated water per hour.

"As the world's eighth largest copper mine, the new Kansanshi smelter has very specific requirements for boiler feed, process and drinking water," said Nigel Bester, Project Engineer at Veolia's Engineered Systems & Services division. Likewise, the mine aims to grow its annual copper output from 340,000 tons in 2013 to 400,000 tons by 2015.

After clarification, iron removal and sand filtration, the drinking water train consists of activated carbon filtration, polishing and UV disinfection. The boiler feedwater will be subjected to the same initial processes but will be diverted for carbon filtration, double-pass reverse osmosis (RO), passed through a polishing filter and continuous electro deionization after passing through the initial sand filtration skids. The softened water for use in the smelter's processes will be diverted from the demineralization stream before the second pass RO membranes.

"The plant has been designed to ensure maximum viability, so we have taken a high-end engineering approach to match each treatment stage's water with the mine's requirements, "said Bester. "This means that boiler feedwater, for instance, isn't subjected to all the treatment steps necessary for drinking water, which is much more viable than treating all the feedwater to high-quality drinking standards regardless of its application."

Veolia will completely manufacture, test and certify the plants at its factory in Sebenza, Gauteng, before they are transported to site.

About Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa

Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa is a South African company with its own engineering, project management and production capabilities within South Africa. With its head office and chemical production facilities located in Johannesburg, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa also has regional offices in Durban and Paarl and international offices in Botswana and Namibia. For more information, visit


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