The water system was designed and engineered by supplier Nalco Australia and has helped the longwall miner with its above average water seepage.
Based in the Hunter Valley the Austar mine operates a round-the-clock dewatering activity and is currently pumping 4.5 to 5 megalitres a day to storage dams.
Austar’s water has a high saline content with more than 60% the salt level of seawater as well as high traces of heavy metals including iron and manganese.
The water make-up has proved to be an issue when discharging the water in accordance with the mine’s EPA licence.
Nalco designed a scale guard system to reduce metals and sulfates in the water, which can cause heavy scaling on pumps and pipes.
To combat the scaling Nalco recommended a trial of its Scaleguard compound, dosed into the suction side of the plant’s pumps as the process water was pumped onsite.
The trial was a success and Austar established an integrated Scaleguard facility onsite.
“The Nalco product made a difference to the quality of the feed water almost as soon as it was introduced and its continued use has certainly made a big difference to the operation of the reverse osmosis plant and the CHPP,” Austar shift supervisor Allen Kerr said.
“We are seeing tangible results through higher equipment availability along with significant reductions in change-outs of pump components and maintenance costs.”