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Mining water management and monitoring

Monitoring the quantity of water used and/or discharged by the mine is mandatory?

All mines and nearly all mining processes require varying quantities of water to operate effectively. As a lot of mining activities occur in water stressed areas in South Africa, it is paramount to continuously monitor and record water quantities and water quality.

Monitoring the quantity of water used and/or discharged by the mine is mandatory. This includes recording rain fall, potable water, raw water as well as ground water pumped from mining activities. The methods used can vary but most common used measurement technologies are Electromagnetic flow meters, ultrasonic clamp-on flow meters as well as ultrasonic level sensors set up for open channel flow measurement at flumes or weir plates in channels.

These measurements are then used to achieve a water balance which, according to guidelines, must be 5-10% per area and overall for the mine an accuracy of 10-15% is acceptable. However, if you take into effect the accumulation of these inaccuracies throughout a mine, and the biggest part of the inaccuracies are derived from the portions calculated, it is important that each flow measurement is as accurate as possible.

Endress+Hauser’s Magnetic flow meters typically have a maximum measurement error of +- 0.5% as standard and +- 0.2% optional.

In order to assess the impact of the mining activities on the environment on and surrounding the mine, the monitoring of the water quality of surface and groundwater is compulsory. Ground water monitoring includes the monitoring of boreholes, springs and wells on the mine property as well as the surrounding area.

Some typical parameters that are required to be monitored at ground water sources, and can be measured online, are Temperature, pH, Conductivity, Dissolved oxygen, Turbidity and Alkalinity.

Surface water monitoring is used to show the impact of mining on the environment. The area that must be covered will be derived from the water use license issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation. The basic physical measurements are once again Temperature, pH, Conductivity, Dissolved oxygen, turbidity and alkalinity and usually include flow measurement.

As sampling and transport methods and time can cause changes in some parameters, it is advisable to use online measurement instrumentation to measure and record the parameters at the various sample points. Endress+Hauser’s multi-channel, multi-parameter CM44x is ideal to use in a remote water quality measurement panel. These solutions can be designed and assembled at the factory and be shipped as a complete unit to simplify installation and commissioning on site.

These sites are more often than not distributed over a vast area and therefor changes in critical quality measurements, especially at the effluent outflow, will only be picked up at the next scheduled sampling and high volumes of polluting water could have been released into the environment.

It is becoming more and more critical to have water balance and water quality values at your fingertips. To complement its complete basket of measurement instrumentation, Endress+Hauser can supply the complete measurement and monitoring solution. By adding the FXA42 gateway to the measurement panel solution, all the data can be available remotely.

It supports communication interfaces like WLAN, 3G as well as Modbus. With its integrated web server technology it can easily be configured online and measured values can be visualized online. The FXA42 also offers data logging and alarm management functions.

To monitor these values remotely, Endress+Hauser has a monitoring solution that can be customized to the customer’s dashboard requirements. The Liquimon as dashboard is ideal for customized data visualization, data evaluation and reporting. This can include data for instrumentation status and predictive maintenance that is available through Heartbeat technology and memosense. This can provide the customer with a complete mine water management and monitoring solution.

For More information, please contact: http://bit.ly/WaterIsOurLife

Contact

Endress+Hauser (Pty) Ltd
5 Commerce Crescent West Eastgate Ext. 13 P.O. Box 783996 Gauteng 2146 Sandton , South Africa
Tel.: +27 11 262 8000
Tel.: 0861 363 7370 (ENDRES)
Fax: +27 11 262 8062
www.za.endress.com