The activated Minerals Extraction System, or aMES® is an innovative process technology that enables the treatment of concentrated aqueous solutions to recover a range of valuable minerals, reagents and fresh water. The technology has applications in the desalination, energy, mining and other industrial sectors.READ MORE
The aMES® technology incorporates several innovations into an integrated process delivering significant advantages over conventional technologies. The ability of the aMES® technology to dewater (remove water from) extremely concentrated (TDS >150 g/L) solutions including brines, and concurrently recover fractionated products, is highly desirable.
The aMES® process utilises a range of processing steps involving dewatering and crystallisation in a variety of proprietary flowsheets, in order to produce a range of valuable products. Mineral extraction is facilitated by systematically concentrating minerals in brines through a proprietary multi-staged process incorporating the innovative use of membranes.
Advantages of the aMES® technology include:
The ability of the aMES® technology to dewater extremely concentrated solutions including brines, and concurrently recover fractionated products, is highly desirable in a range of applications including
KLPP CASE STUDY
In order to demonstrate the significant advantages of the aMES® technology in developing a brine-based mining operation, in late 2020, Parkway, with the support of study manager Worley, completed a pre-feasibility study focused on the Karinga Lakes Potash Project (KLPP).
The KLPP is located approximately 230 km to the southwest of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia. The production of various salt products from the brine resources in the vicinity of the KLPP was proposed as early as the late 1980’s. More recently, the KLPP project operator (Verdant Minerals) published a scoping study in 2014, which was followed by a more recent scoping study in early 2019, based on a more innovative process route, incorporating the aMES® technology. In contrast to prior studies, the aMES® based process route, provided sufficient encouragement for the project operator and Parkway to commence a pre-feasibility study (KLPP-PFS) in May 2020. Parkway assembled an integrated project team, led by study manager Worley, supported by leading industry consultants and a range of key equipment vendors. The KLPP-PFS was completed in Nov 2020 and concluded that based on the adoption of the aMES® technology, the KLPP represents an attractive opportunity to develop a specialised brine mining operation, to produce a high-quality, soluble grade, sulphate of potash (SOP) product, targeting key domestic markets, in Australia.
Parkway owns a 15% interest in the KLPP and expects this interest to increase to 40% imminently as a result of completing the KLPP-PFS. Parkway also holds a conditional option to increase this interest to 50.1%, under certain circumstance.
KLPP - Introduction
The Karinga Lakes Potash Project (KLPP)
Extensive Resource Appraisal Status
The potash brine investigations including those utilised for the purposes of resource appraisal and reporting were based on data acquired over several years, including:
KLPP – Development Concept
The KLPP development concept involves the processing of naturally occurring hypersaline brines from a series of salt lakes at the KLPP, in order to produce 40,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of high-purity sulphate of potash (SOP), over an initial mine life of 20 years. The development concept is divided into two broad areas of operation, upstream and downstream operations.
KLPP – Upstream Operations
The upstream operations at the KLPP consist of the following key stages:
1 - Brine Harvest – extraction of raw brine from trenches and pumping to evaporation ponds.
2 - Brine Concentration – the raw brine is concentrated, through a i) pre-concentration pond, then pumped to, ii) a Halite crystallisation pond, where waste sodium salts are precipitated, and then pumped to the, iii) final potassium salts crystallisation pond, where the potassium enriched mixed salts are harvested.
3 - Salt Stockpile - the harvested potassium enriched mixed salts, are then transported a short distance to a stockpile, near the processing plant, ready for processing in the SOP processing plant.
4 - Process Plant – the aMES® based process plant, then processes the potassium enriched mixed salts, to produce SOP, which is then packaged on-site.
5 - Site Logistics – packaged SOP is then transported to key domestic markets, via the proposed access road leading to the Lasseter Highway to the north of the project area.
KLPP – Downstream Operations
The downstream operations at the KLPP consist of the following key stages:
1 - Salt Stockpile – the downstream operations in the processing plant, commence with the potassium enriched mixed salts, harvested from the evaporation ponds, during upstream operations.
2 - Salt Preparation – the potassium enriched mixed salts are screened and milled, to ensure adequate dissolution of potassium minerals.
3 - Salt Extraction – the milled salts are dissolved in warm water, ensuring the transfer of potassium and sulphates from the mixed salts, into the warm leach solution, to form a concentrated brine.
4 - Core aMES® Plant – the concentrated brine from the salt extraction step, is processed through a proprietary aMES® based flowsheet, in order to:
5 - Produce intermediate products:
6 - SOP Synthesis - as a result of reacting the Sylvite and Leonite intermediate products, with the addition of recovered process water.
7 - SOP Logistics – the drying, packaging, storage and dispatch of the produced SOP product.
KLPP – Pre-Feasibility Study (KLPP-PFS)
A number of significant advantages of the proposed KLPP-PFS development concept have been established through the KLPP-PFS, including:
Additional Information Regarding the KLPP-PFS
Additional information regarding the aMES® technology and related water treatment solutions, is outlined in the Parkway Process Technologies, Next-Generation Technologies brochure.
For additional information, or to discuss how we can provide you with the most suitable technology-based solution to address your water treatment challenges, we invite you to reach out and speak to a Parkway water treatment specialist, today.
1300 7275929 (PARKWAY)