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WEC Projects to expand STP at Karowe mine

Friday, 03 Dec 2021
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WEC Projects has been awarded a contract for roughly USD 189,835 to raise the sewage treatment plant (STP) at Karowe diamond mine in Botswana which is set to cease its open-pit operations by 2026. 
 
Lucara, the Karowe diamond mine, is located near the hamlet of Letlhakane in the eastern Kalahari Basin.  The mine is located more than 1,000 mtr above sea level in an area where temperatures average 35 degree celsius and water is so limited that the Botswana government has implemented obligatory water conservation regulations for enterprises.  
 
After the open pit operations are completed, it will continue to mine underground, extending its operational life until roughly 2040. 
 
The company built the first treatment plant in 2012, and the new system will be integrated into the existing facility, increasing throughput from 100 to 150 cu mtr per day to meet the demands of the mine’s growing workforce.  
 
The primary sewage treatment plant will be a WEC Projects Model A treatment plant with an enhanced aeration system that uses traditional activated sludge.  
 
The wastewater is filtered mechanically to remove particulates before being treated in a biological reactor with anoxic, aerobic and clarifying zones. 
 
The water will then reach the reed bed wetland region, where it will percolate through the reed bed, allowing microorganisms to break down pollutants, including sulfur, heavy metals and chlorine.  
 
While the water generated by this procedure is not suitable for human consumption, the mine will use it for irrigation and dust suppression.
 
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