Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business is now operating the first of two state of the art reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plants at its Aquila metallurgical coal project in the Bowen Basin, with the aim of reducing the use of fresh water in its mining operations.
Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, Tyler Mitchelson said the $5 million water treatment system was currently treating two megalitres of mine-affected water (MAW) a day and supporting the construction of the Aquila Mine near Middlemount in Central Queensland.
“A key target in Anglo American’s global Sustainable Mining Plan is to reduce our reliance on freshwater by 50 per cent by 2030 across our mine sites, and I’m pleased to say Aquila is currently sourcing recycled water during construction of the mine,” Mr Mitchelson said.
“A planned second RO plant will to be used to recycle a further 2.4 megalitres of MAW – once Aquila becomes operational in early 2022, more than doubling capacity and helping to reduce the reliance on water from local sources during times of drought.
“Aquila will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced underground mines and will showcase our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining. The project is currently supporting 500 jobs.”
Aquila’s Project Director Tony Willmott said the $240 million Aquila Mine was committed to awarding contracts locally.
“Our Aquila project is progressing well, with support from its Queensland-based workforce and contracting partners. More than 90 per cent of our Aquila contracts have been awarded to Queensland-based suppliers,” Mr Willmott said.
“Aquila’s integrated network of pipes and pumps is securing the distribution of high-quality water which is necessary in metallurgical coal mining for equipment cooling and coal cutting operations.”
The Aquila project will extend the life of Anglo American’s existing underground operations at the Capcoal complex and forms part of the Capcoal Joint Venture between Anglo American (70%) and Mitsui & Co. Ltd (30%).
Last financial year (2019-2020), Anglo American invested $2.83 billion with Queensland suppliers, which was 77 per cent of the company’s total expenditure in Australia.
Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan: https://www.angloamerican.com/sustainability/our-sustainable-mining-plan
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