In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint and find alternative and sustainable water sources, Jwaneng Mine will soon begin the treatment of sewage water from the township.
According to a statement from Debswana, the Jwaneng Wastewater Utilization project is aimed at reducing demand on the Northern Wellfields during the mining process and will be provide a new source that promotes conservation of fresh water for future use. The mining company has revealed that a similar system has also been adopted at Orapa Mine. ‘‘The project has complied with the Environmental Impact Assessment Act and is aligned to the Botswana National Water Master Plan and Debswana’s own Water Management Strategy’’, the statement from Debswana reads.
Project Manager, Mike Brook said the project will have long term benefits for the area’s water supply and will address key environmental issues. Treated water will relieve the Water Utilities Corporation’s (WUC) of environmental pollution, flooding and straying of livestock into the township which is a persistent problem on the Jwaneng to Sekoma road. He highlighted the immense benefits for the area’s drinking water supply. “This is a completely new water supply for Jwaneng, relieving pressure on fresh water consumption from the Northern Wellfield, conserving drinking water for future generations’’, Brook explained in the statement.
From a cost perspective, Debswana said the new project will cut the mine’s spending by a quarter, reducing the strain on water pumped from valuable, potable sources. Brook further explained that a new chlorine gas-based disinfection system will be used to remove harmful pathogens. Jwaneng Mine is already using treated water which is safe for non–potable use.
Mine Staff and Union Representatives attended bench-marking exercises at De Beers Kimberley and Orapa where treated wastewater is utilised daily in similar plants. In Kimberley, only treated water is used, with no health issues related to the water reported in over 30 years of use.