At Waterval mine, 69% of environmental incidents are related to the spillage of fuel, oil, grease and lubricants. Most of these hydrocarbon spillages can be attributed to TM3 equipment used at the mine. As part of a long-term management plan to address these hydrocarbon spillage incidents, Anglo Platinum has installed Ultraspin technology at Waterval mine. This technology has two main applications, namely oily water separation and vehicle wash water reuse/recycling. The Ultraspin’s oily water separators treat flows from 2 m3 to 1 000 m3 per hour ensuring the removal of more than 90% of 20 micron oil droplets, while its closest competitors do not remove oil droplets less than 60 microns.
The Ultraspin allows for better quality discharge water, which exceeds local waste discharge standards and the expected future discharge standards, while efficiently managing accidental spills. The Ultraspin also has surface skimmers that minimise the development of surface oil layers, which in turn adversely affect dissolved hydrocarbons. A water aeration tank is included as part of the Ultraspin, which helps to remove dissolved hydrocarbons. The aeration process can increase the percentage removal to 95% of 2–10 micron oil droplets.