CBA Innovation is awarded the Excellence in the Mining/Metallurgy Industry Award
The socioenvironmental activities of Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA) in the “Zona da Mata” in Minas Gerais received another important award. The “Colloid Decanting in the Miraí Reservoir” project received an award for Excellence in the Mining/Metallurgy Industry from Minérios & Minerales Magazine. The award ceremony took place on June 22 at Fundação Dom Cabral in Nova Lima, in metropolitan Belo Horizonte.This initiative improved the environmental quality of the water stored in the reservoir, benefiting the company, the environment, and the local population. Some of the highlights are the change in the water appearance, which went from hazy to clear, less energy use, decreased wear and tear on pumping equipment, and improved environmental quality of the local ecosystem. The idea for the project emerged from a discovery made during tests to reduce the costs of the CBA Water Treatment Facility (ETA) in Miraí. In 2019, while developing new reagents, it was found that the suspended particles in the water were positively charged, which impeded natural decantation which is what happens in rivers, for instance, as the particles repeal each other and move through the water in the reservoir. This is why the surface of the reservoir appears hazy. Neutralizing these positive charges requires controlling the pH of the reservoir water so that suspended colloids will decant, and the water will become clearer. To neutralize the cloud of positive charges keeping the clay-mineral particles suspended due to repulsion, alkali was added directly to the reservoir through the recycling water controlled by the Unit’s water treatment facility. Christian Fonseca de Andrade, manager of CBA’s mining units in “Zona da Mata”, mentioned how fast results are obtained once all the alkali has been added. “In just one week the water went from 18,000 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) to only 5 NTU. Water in the reservoir went from hazy to clear in just a few days and can be returned to the environment with no need for further treatments in the ETA” he added. In addition to reducing water haziness and improving water quality, the CBA manager mentioned other benefits for the company, the environment, and local communities. “This project allowed us to reduce the energy used to return water to the environment by 30%, and decreased wear and tear on the ETA intake and recirculation pumps, which feed our Processing Plant. More important is the improvement in water quality, which directly benefits the water ecosystem and the animals living around the reservoir. This is why we were so pleased with this award, which once again attests to the quality of the Company’s socioenvironmental activities in the region”, added Andrade. Excellence in the Mining-Metallurgy Industry Award This award has been given for the past 24 years. The Excellence in the Mining-Metallurgy Industry Award is given to disclose projects that increase productivity, reduce costs, and innovation by teams in various areas of a mining concern. These projects are analyzed by an independent jury and the award winners receive a trophy and certificate at an awards ceremony.