Product Details Supplier Info More products

Environmental Concept Services has revealed that its Enigma electronic de-scaling units have been installed on feed pipes at the Neves-Corvo copper mine to solve hard-water problems.

The ore treatment is carried out by conventional crushing, flotation, grinding, thickening and filtration processes.

The copper plant treats up to 2.2 million tonnes of ore each year, producing high-grade copper concentrate mainly for the export market.

As part of the process, Somincor Mining Company – which operates the mine – need to store tailings pyrites in a 190-hectare dam, 3km from the mine itself and water from the dam is used in the industrial process.

In order to balance the very high pH levels in the dam, between 10 and 20 tonnes of lime needs to be introduced into the system each day.

As a result, three pipes of between 35cm and 40cm diameter feeding the industrial tank required constant chemical and mechanical cleaning.

Various methods of cleaning had been tried, including injecting CO2 directly into the pipes.

This was carried out by a subcontractor and took around four months to clean just one pipe.

The inside bore of these pipes had fouled so heavily that at times they had reduced to just 7cm in places.

In November 2007, engineers from Environmental Concept Services’ Portuguese agent TAI-Iberica, installed Enigma electronic de-scaling units onto the three feed pipes from the dam and another was fitted onto the single pipe feeding associated header tanks.

In June 2008, the first pipe to be treated was opened for maintenance and the engineer found that the problem had been reduced to a very light deposit of powder, which was cleaned simply by washing it with clean water.

As a result of the Enigma treatment, both the amount of fouling and the time taken to clean the pipes have been reduced.

Now, the small amount of scale that builds up inside the pipes is much softer and easier to remove.

Environmental Treatment Concepts

View full profile