Narrative provided Jim Lauria; Mazzei Injector Company; March 18 , 2020
Ozone can be a vital tool in water treatment at every step of the mining and mineral/metal processing cycle. Our society is literally built on a foundation of mined minerals and metals—every American consumes an average of 24 tons of minerals and metals per year—and water is integral to every step of mining, from dust suppression and water management at the mine to wet beneficiation (washing ores and minerals), processing, purification and reclamation.
Purifying water permits processing of mined materials for highly sensitive uses such as medical products or electronics. Ozone controls biological and mineral contaminants in mined products and the water around them, and reacts with metals such as cyanide and arsenic to render them less harmful and permit their capture in filters or clarifiers.
Ozone plays a role in mining, including creating ultrapure water for processing diatomaceous earth for medical and food use; removing selenium in coal production; using oxidation to make environmentally and economically friendly hydrometallurgical processes more efficient for capturing gold and other metals; and oxidizing cyanide and arsenic in gold processing wastewater to permit discharge. Ozonation systems used in mining operations can replace less effective technologies as demand for water in mining intensifies.