The Veolia wastewater treatment process includes precipitation softening and clarification, filtration, ion exchange softening and a final two pass reverse osmosis (RO) polishing system. The discharge streams from this patented wastewater treatment process include treated effluent water, metals precipitation sludge, ion exchange regenerant and RO concentrate. The treated effluent water will be suitable for reuse in the mining process or to release back into the groundwater by a treated water infiltration system. The ion exchange regenerant and RO concentrate liquid wastes will then be sent to the evaporator and crystallizer system and converted to solids.
The Veolia system is designed to treat 0.72 million gallons per day of mine water and will begin operations later this year.
Kennecott’s Eagle Mine will be the only primary nickel mine operating in the US and is expected to produce approximately 300 million pounds of nickel and 250 million pounds of copper over the life of the mine.