Water tech company Gradiant has announced partnerships with SLB, Rio Tinto and an undisclosed global miner to improve productivity and sustainability in the mining industry with a focus on reducing carbon and water footprints.
Projects in the United States and Western Australia will focus on resource recovery of critical minerals and industrial process water.
Gradiant’s collaborations with SLB and the Australian-based global mining company target the recovery of valuable metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt. Last year, Gradiant entered into a partnership with SLB (formerly Schlumberger) for its technology to be used to concentrate lithium solution and generate fresh water as part of SLB’s NeoLith Energy direct lithium extraction (DLE) and production process.
The solution enhances the impact of the sustainable lithium extraction process by enabling high levels of lithium concentration in a fraction of the time required by conventional methods while reducing carbon emissions, energy consumption, and capital costs compared to thermal-based methods.
For Rio Tinto, Gradiant will deliver a new facility in Western Australia to replace aging facilities by employing the company’s proprietary RO Infinity membrane technologies and SmartOps Digital AI into existing mining operations. Gradiant has introduced two chemical-free technologies into operations to minimize chemical consumption and waste discharge.
Lastly, Gradiant’s RO Infinity and SmartOps technologies will concentrate complex wastewater from nickel and cobalt production at a new facility in Western Australia for the undisclosed global miner, resulting in up to 75% cost savings with lower carbon and water footprints compared to conventional technologies.
“Mining is a uniquely complex industrial sector with challenges of remote locations, large volumes of waste, wide fluctuations in water quality, and the high-value end-product that demands relentless design and operations efficiencies,” said Prakash Govindan, COO of Gradiant.
“The real opportunity for water technology in the mining industry is resource recovery in wastewater coupled with machine learning AI. We are excited to work with the world’s leading mining operators to enter a new era of sustainable resource recovery.”