The use of Bromochlorodimethylhydantoin (BCDMH) as a disinfectant in mine water treatment has been the standard for a long time.
However, for a number of reasons, BCDMH has become unviable and unsustainable for continued use.
The cost of the halogen-based (chlorine, bromine) oxidant has been increasing over time. It is also known for giving off a strong chlorine odour underground. This is due to a reaction between the biocide and soluble nitrogen-based compounds, which release volatile chloramines.
Halogen-based sanitisers, in the presence of dissolved organic compounds, form a persistent, environmentally unacceptable compound, which is regarded as a marine pollutant.
Given the above challenges that the continued use of BCDMH presented, an alternative sanitising programme was required.
As a mine water treatment company, Watercare Mining saw the opportunity to introduce a better method of cleaning mine service water.
Developing a safe, effective mine water treatment programme
The alternative had to be equally or more effective in microbiological control.
It also had to be environmentally acceptable, safe to work with and apply and address the challenge of volatile gas formation underground.
An alternative oxidising biocide programme incorporating BO1450 was developed. It was recommended for testing at a Platinum Group Metals mine.
A 500m3 Eriksons Dam fed with mine service water was selected for a trial.
The results of the trial indicated BO1450 programme to be highly effective in decreasing the microbial counts (including that of Coliform bacteria) to the required mine service water specifications.
The programme only requires basic equipment. The standard dosing tank and dosing pump are easily integrated into the current Watercare Mining water management system.
BO1450 has no associated halogen and therefore does not form volatile chloramines underground. The product is environmentally acceptable, as it is 100% degradable when applied as recommended.
The BO1450 biocide programme helped the client avoid a cost escalation of 50% for the traditional BCDMH programme.
The raw materials are available on the domestic market, making it easier to negotiate pricing and to manage logistics.
As it is locally manufactured, BO1450 is significantly less sensitive to exchange rate fluctuations than the BCDMH, which is a direct import.
In conclusion, the BO1450 programme has proven to be a cost-effective, environmentally-acceptable alternative to BCDMH for the disinfection of mine service water.
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