Mining Water Quality Application

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Courtesy of ANDalyze

Isaac Plains Coal Mine

Isaac Plains is an open cut coal mine, in Northern Queensland, Australia. The Isaac Plains Project operates under an Environmental Authority (EA). One of the environmental monitoring requirements which must be met is monitoring water. These include potable water, mine affected water, natural creek flows, water releases, groundwater and the receiving environment. The site water management system is comprised of sediment dams (for containing mine affected water), release dams (for releasing good quality water to the environment), a raw water dam (for storing the allocated raw water supply) and a drainage system which allows for clean water run¬off collected by the catchment to be diverted away from the active mining area.

Problem/Task

Need for compliance monitoring of heavy metals which requires results for three target trace metal species, mercury, copper and lead (Hg. Cu, Pb) for discharge. Currently Isaac Plains Mine uses ICP-MR for trace level analysis which takes 7-10 working days to get results. This delay is costly to mining operations.

ANDalyze Solution

Isaac Plains Mine implemented the ANDalyze hand held fluorimeter and heavy metal sensors to get fast (one minute) test results at low PPB level readings.

  • Correlation with lab results was > 95% confidence
  • The solution enabled technicians to take readings in the field.
  • Speed of result (less than one minute) allows instant decisions on discha which has significant ramifications on mine production costs.
  • Lower cost than one-off lab metals analysis

Advantages at Isaac Plains Mine

  • Ease of use and minimal sample handling significantly reduces the risk of contamination of samples
  • Speed of result allows instant decision on whether to discharge or not - cost of production criteria
  • Untrained staff can be confidently involved in the decision process.

Mining Water Quality Application - Isaac Plains Mine , Australia

Technology Background

This technology provided by ANDalyze, is a platform that offers simple, fast, inexpensive and reliable detection of trace metals in water. Measuring the metal ions is done through a reaction that occurs when a water sample containing a target metal ion contaminant (such as lead) is introduced to a sensor unit specific for that contaminant. This produces fluorescence (light) in direct correlation to the amount of metal ion present . The amount of light is measured by the hand-held fluorimeter. The fluorimeter reading relates directly to the amount of metal contaminant in the water solution (metals can be detected at low parts per billion levels). ANDalyze has designed and manufactured a modernized fluorimeter which, in combination with the sensors can quickly measure water contaminants at the sample site, greatly reducing the time and effort required by current technologies. This advantage creates a cost savings for organizations that are responsible for water testing of public drinking water supplies or industrial water operations.

Product Advantages

  • Platform Technology Allowing Detection of Many Targets
  • Portable and easy to carry
  • Laboratory Detection Limits in a Portable Instrument
  • Fast and reliable detection and analysis
  • No environmentally hazardous reagent waste

Other Applications for Metals Detection

  • Drinking water
  • Environmental water
  • Mining water resources
  • Industrial water processing
  • Municipal water operations
  • Food Safety water sources
  • Laboratory and regulatory agencies testing

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