Chilean mine SWRO gets environmental approval

An environmental impact study (EIS) for a 26,000 m³/d desalination plant for a mining operation in northern Chile is reported to have been approved by the regional office of the Ministerio del Medio Ambiente (environment ministry).

BNamericas reported on 11 July 2011 that Chilean mining company Minera Candelaria’s EIS for a US$ 270 million desalination plant to supply its operations in Northern Region III had received approval.

Spanish company Aqualia was awarded a contract worth about € 17 million to design and supply seawater reverse-osmosis equipment for the plant in 2010, its first work in Chile.

The plant could be expanded to 43,000 m³/d at a later date. Owners Freeport- McMoRan Copper & Gold claim that the Candelaria mine is now a leader in water conservation, recovery and recycling in all processes.