Environmental Water Monitoring of Mercury, Copper and Lead in Australian Mine

Picture6Customer: Isaac Plains Mine – Australia

Application: Metals analysis in water

Description: Isaac Plains is an open cut coal mine, in Northern Queensland, Australia. The Isaac Plains Project operates under an Environmental Authority (EA). One of the environmental monitoring requirements which must be met is monitoring water. These include potable water, mine affected water, natural creek flows, water releases, groundwater and the receiving environment. The site water management system is comprised of sediment dams (for containing mine affected water), release dams (for releasing good quality water to the environment), a raw water dam (for storing the allocated raw water supply) and a drainage system which allows for clean water run-off collected by the catchment to be diverted away from the active mining area.

Picture7Problem/Task: Need for compliance monitoring of heavy metals which requires results for three target trace metal species, mercury, copper and lead (Hg, Cu, Pb) for discharge. Currently Isaac Plains Mine uses ICP-MS for trace level analysis which takes 7-10 working days to get results. This delay is costly to mining operations.

ANDalyze Solution: Isaac Plains Mine implemented the ANDalyze hand held fluorimeter and heavy metal sensors to get fast (one minute) test results at low PPB level readings.

  • Ÿ Correlation with lab results was > 95% confidence
  • Ÿ The solution enabled technicians to take readings in the field.
  • Ÿ Speed of result (less than one minute) allows instant decisions on discharging, which has significant ramifications on mine production costs.
  • Ÿ Lower cost than one-off lab metals analysis

Advantages at Isaac Plains Mine:

  • ŸEase of use and minimal sample handling significantly reduces the risk of contamination of samples
  • ŸSpeed of result allows instant decision on whether to discharge or not – cost of production criteria
  • ŸUntrained staff can be confidently involved in the decision process.



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