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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: July 15th 2002

:: PETS success at Port Pirie  

The fourth stage - Process Effluent Treatment System (PETS) - of a five-stage effluent-treatment plan at Pasminco Ltd's Port Pirie lead-zinc smelter in South Australia has been successfully commissioned, and has reduced the levels of cadmium in waste water produced by the smelter by 98%, and lead and zinc levels by 99%. Pasminco has been engaged in its five-stage plan since 1991 and, according to Ausenco Ltd, Pasminco's contractor, the fourth stage of the plan is the 'lynchpin' of Pasminco's treatment scheme.

The treatment process involves the neutralisation of the incoming effluent using lime followed by the addition of sodium sulphide and ferric chloride, which precipitate the contained metals including cadmium, lead and zinc. The resulting slurry is thickened and filtered, and the resulting solids are returned to the smelter for reprocessing. The treated water is tested for compliance with the South Australian Environmental Protection Agency's regulations and discharged. According to Ausenco, the technology was developed in order to reduce the levels of metal in solution and at the same time to eliminate the need for the disposal of a precipitate in a landfill.

Ausenco says that following detailed test work, which was conducted in conjunction with Pasminco, the A$15 million PETS project was completed under budget and ahead of schedule. It was jointly commissioned by the two companies in February 2002.



Click for more info on Hi-Tech Metals '18

Ed Meka
Ausenco Limited
Ground Floor, 56 Sylvan Road, Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, 4066, Australia.
Tel: +61 (0)7 3870 0990

Mining Journal, July 5, 2002, p.7

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