SPS starts water treatment trials in South Crofty tin mine


Siltbuster Process Solutions (SPS) is carrying out trials to demonstrate the treatability of minewater from the closed tin mine in South Crofty, Cornwall, UK.

After completion, the results will be used to evaluate and show the feasibility of dewatering and mine reopening.

SPS was given the responsibility to treat mine water at this project that is contaminated with metals and other impurities mainly iron. It will help in reducing the metal content in the water and ensure safe discharge to the nearby Red River.

If the trial is successful, then it would be an important step towards the reopening of this mine.

Last year in July, Strongbow Exploration acquired this tin mine.

Siltbuster Process Solutions technical manager Chris Bullen said: “It is great to have been chosen to work on such an important and high profile project.

"We have a long history not only of working with mines but also of this region, we understand the local geology and have consulted heavily with the Strongbow team on the best way to dewater the mine.

“This initial trial phase is very important; it will not only show that the required environmental standards can be met, but will also demonstrate the viability of the whole mine.”

"It will not only show that the required environmental standards can be met, but also demonstrate the viability of the whole mine."

SPS will use High-Density Sludge at South Crofty to treat 18m3 of minewater every hour for the next two to three months.

If the trial is successful, SPS will bolster its efforts to treat and discharge up to 25,000m3 of minewater a day that will dewater the mine over an 18-24 month period ahead of reopening.

The South Crofty tin project area hosts 26 former producing mines in an area of 1,490ha.

Full-scale mining at this property started in the 17th century, then closed in 1985 after tin prices plummeted.

SPS has successfully completed many minewater treatment plants with designs and feasibility studies in UK and worldwide. The company has completed a turnkey contract to design, build and commission a water treatment system for Wolf Minerals’ new tungsten mine at the Drakelands Mine near Plymouth.


Image: Siltbuster Process Solutions kit being used in trials at South Crofty tin mine. Photo: courtesy of Siltbuster Process Solutions.