Carbine Resources has entered a contract with the state of Queensland to manage the existing lime dosing water treatment plant at the Mount Morgan mine in Australia.
In 1991, the Queensland Government took over management of the mine site including the former open-cut pit and its 12,000ml of contaminated water.
According to Carbine, annual revenue from the agreement initially is projected to be up to $1.25m a year before costs based on the discharge of 500ml annually.
Under the contract, Carbine will take over management of the site’s existing water treatment plant, which has the capacity to produce more than 1,500ml a year of treated water.
By taking up the water treatment activities on site at the 130-plus-year-old Mount Morgan mine, the company aims to improve the volume and quality of treated water entering the Dee River that passes alongside the mine.
The activities can mimimise the level of water within the existing open-pit.
The contract was signed following discussions between Carbine and the Queensland Department of Natural Resources & Mines (DNRM).
The company also proposes to submit a proposal to retrofit the plant with an ion exchange demonstration plant at the front-end.
The plant will extract up to 300t of copper from the Mount Morgan pit water per annum.
Queensland minister for state development and minister for natural resources and mines Dr Anthony Lynham said: "Carbine Resources’ specialist water treatment expertise will mean better environmental outcomes, with more water from the pit decontaminated, without using freshwater.
"Carbine is also looking into using cutting-edge technology to extract gold, copper and pyrite resources from the tailings stockpiles, and copper from the pit water, giving a piece of Queensland mining history a new opportunity to be a mineral producer."
The mine operated from 1882 until 1990 and produced copper and gold.
Image: Mount Morgan Mine Stack in 2010. Photo: courtesy of MMHistory.