LOCAL anthracite producer Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) has commissioned a new 25 ton-an-hour filter press at its coal washing plant, in Emakhalathini, KwaZulu-Natal.
The filter press removes slurry from the water used in the coal washing process and will aid in preventing incidents such as the coal slurry spill which occurred at ZAC after the end wall at Slurry Pond 3 failed on 24 December last year.
The spill released about 1.5 million litres of waste into the Umvalo River.
As ZAC Engineering Production Superintendent Howard Atkinson explains, “the filter press filters slurry-laden water and removes all the ultrafines from the water to enable reclaimed water to be reused in the beneficiation process.”
The filter press plant, which costs R14.5 million, was commissioned on 10 May 2022 and was in full production by 16 May.
The conservation, protection and management of water are a top priority for ZAC. “The principal aim of ZAC’s sustainable water management policy is to minimise and reduce freshwater consumption in all our operations,” states ZAC GM Wayne Rowe.