Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 74 of 83

NOVEMBER 2018 • E&MJ 73 PROCESSING SOLUTIONS has a low bulk density. From the suppli- er's viewpoint, metal products would have the lowest transport cost, though this may be offset by increased production costs. • The battery supply chain and business models are extremely young and imma- ture. New projects need to understand the market and what is being done with their product. They may be able to cre- ate more value close to their operation. • It is diffi cult to design a cobalt produc- tion process to be "bulletproof" to price volatility, which can be due to govern- ment decisions as well as supply and de- mand issues. The common strategy in the mining industry is to look for a process with production costs in the fi rst quartile, or at worst in the second quartile, to sur- vive the inevitable price swings. • There is a need for development of new SX and IX products for the stringent pu- rifi cation of battery metal solutions. Sup- pliers BASF and Solvay both advised that this is unlikely due to the very high development and permitting costs. Chilean Desalination Project Gets Environmental Approval Authorities in Chile have approved devel- opment of the largest desalination plant in Latin America, according to a recent news report by Reuters. The project will move ahead at an estimated initial capital cost of $500 million, with a reported maximum ca- pacity of 2,630 liters of water per second. Reuters said Trends Industrial's ENA- PAC (Energías y Aguas del Pacífi co) pro- ject will desalinate sea water for industrial clients in the Atacama desert and mining region in the north of the country. Trends, an industrial group based in Chile, claimed it will be the fi rst multiclient desalination plant in the country, the largest in Latin America, the fi rst large-scale plant pow- ered with photovoltaic energy and one of the most advanced projects in the world, combining reverse osmosis desalination with solar energy. The project had been under environmental-impact evaluation by the government for the better part of a year. The $500 million cost of the project in- cludes a photovoltaics plant, water convey- ance system, a new reservoir, and reverse osmosis plant. The system comprises fi ve pumping stations: one at the intake, one at the treatment plant, two on the piping route, and one at the reservoir. The solar photovoltaics plant will power the treat- ment plant and water conveyance network, producing up to 100 megawatts (MW). Water treatment is by conventional reverse osmosis. Processed water will be pumped 45 miles to the reservoir in Copiapó. The project will employ the Synwater solution developed by German company Synlift Industrial Products. Synwater sys- tems are grid-connected seawater desali- nation (RO) plants powered by integrated wind and/or solar (PV) power. According to Synlift, the Synwater load management component, combined with other system modules, allows smooth adaptation of the RO process to the fl uctuating renewable energy (RE) supply, allowing a high rate of RE self-consumption for the process. Trends Industrial and Almar Water Solutions had earlier signed a Memoran- dum of Understanding (MoU) to collabo- rate on the development of a solar-pow- ered desalination project for the Atacama region in Chile: ENAPAC. UAE-based water-infrastructure specialist Almar is an equity investor in the project.

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