Australian mining town to up quality from boreholes close to pit with desalination plant

The Australian arm of water technology firm, Valoriza Agua, has won a design and construct contract to deliver a 16.5 Ml/d water treatment plant to replace an existing facility and provide drinking water for the Western Australian mining town, Newman and the mine. The plant will include brackish water reverse osmosis and an ultraviolet treatment system to treat a mix of flows from drinking water boreholes sited too close to mining activities.

The project is for mining giant, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, which owns Newman mine – sited close to the vast Mount Whaleback pit. The new desalination facility is scheduled for operation by the end of 2015 according to Valoriza.

The initiative will provide the people of Newman, 1,500 km northeast of Perth and the mine with better quality drinking water quality. A Western Australian government report has warned that because the town’s water supply system is part of the mining activities, mining-related land use has been sited closer to the drinking water bore bores “than would otherwise be recommended.” A source close to the project told D&WR: “This is an unusual situation in Western Australia; however, it can be managed to supply safe drinking water to consumers.”