BQE to test its technologies at Codelco sites in Chile

BQE Water has teamed up under contract with miner Codelco to test its Sulf-IX sulphate removal technology and BioSulphide copper recovery process at several of the operator’s sites in Chile.

The work, which will be conducted over the next 18 months, will include design, supply and operation of pilot plants for both sulphate removal and copper recover. Neither company indicated the specific site locations.

Karin Schulz, who serves as project manager for Codelco’s Innovation team, noted that an important component to its open innovation model is searching and testing technologies that can face and solve challenges, and doing that together with those who have the experience, knowledge and necessary technologies. 

“This is how the tests of the proposed BQE Water technologies are part of a pilot-level technological evaluation in-situ that during 2022 we will carry out in our divisions. In the case of obtaining positive results, they will make available new technologies for water treatment for the future of our operations,” Schulz added.

Sulf-IX was developed by BQE in the late 2000s and later was demonstrated on an industrial scale at an active U.S. operation in the mid-2010s. The process achieves water recoveries greater than 98% and does not generate liquid brine waste.

It commercialized its BioSulphide and ChemSulphide processes in the mid-2000s.

“At copper mines with long operating histories, it is not uncommon to see economically significant quantities of copper present in mine wastewater,” BQE said.

“BQE Water’s BioSulphide and ChemSulphide processes enable selective and cost-effective recovery of copper in the form of high-grade copper sulphide concentrates that are blended into metal concentrates produced by the mines.”Source: BQE Water

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