Water treatment of mining waste is a contentious topic the usual crowd like to use to stop mining will soon have one less item to worry about. Not that this will change minds:
[…] The technology was developed by CSIRO researcher Dr Grant Douglas and his team and has been patented and licensed to Virtual Curtain.
The hydrotalcites are created by adjusting the concentrations of magnesium and aluminium in the wastewater.
“You can think of the hydrotalcites as being a sort of material ‘sponge’,” Jeff Moore, a director of Virtual Curtain says.
“Toxic elements such as cadmium, radionuclides, copper, zinc and elements like that will very rapidly be absorbed by the hydrotalcites, reducing the toxicity of the water and reducing the acidity.”
The hydrotalcite technology was successfully used to treat toxic wastewater at a former copper and gold mine in the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland.
There, some 56 million litres of contaminated pit water were treated prior to reverse osmosis and eventual safe discharge into a stream.