“Rio Tinto’s approach to red mud reuse has evaluated the well documented list of trials and successful
reuses of red mud globally against key factors of the red mud produced in our refinery operations. A focus
on mature technologies such as Virotec’s Basecon and Bauxsol technologies has resulted the reduction of
risk, lead time for development and implementation, reduced costs and improved likelihood of success.
The Virotec solution is aligned with the key drivers for a solution to red mud that is essential for the Rio
Tinto Residue Program to leverage synergies between multiple operational needs with a holistic view of
operations and long term sustainability.
Rio Tinto has worked with Virotec since the early 2000’s and most recently over the last two and a half
years directly with Rio Tinto Aluminium Bauxite and Alumina Pacific Operations (RTA) to understand and
evaluate the potential capacity of its Bauxsol Technology to treat red mud produced by Rio Tinto’s
Gladstone alumina refineries. This has led to a Stage 1 processing facility located at the Queensland
Alumina Refinery (QAL) in Gladstone. With this facility in place RTA are working with Virotec to increase
the volume of material created and used for beneficial reuse in a variety of remediation and other uses.”
“ Our Wesley Vale paper mill had accumulated about 80 tonnes of mercury contaminated water in a storage vessel that was corroding badly, with a risk to human and aquatic life. We could not find any economically viable method to treat and release the contaminated water.
Virotec’s solution was to treat the water so that the mercury formed in an inert sludge layer at the tank bottom. Concrete was then poured onto this sludge layer to encapsulate it with the water discharged to the environment at well below discharge limits. Holes were then drilled into the tank base so that when it rains, the tank does not fill up.
For 10 years we had wrestled with this problem but Virotec’s unique thinking and technology that works made it happen. And all at a price that we could afford. They are the “go to” guys. ”
“ The Birdsall Leather and Craft tannery produces approximately 20,000 litres of effluent every week. Apart from odour issues, we were well in excess of our Trade Waste discharge limits with high Chromium, Phosphate, Sulphate, BOD, oil and grease levels. We were disposing of the sludge in landfill but the clay lining of the landfill started to degrade.
With a combination of reagents that can be re-used and with no capital expenditure, Virotec made the sludge inert so it could be disposed of as general rather than hazardous waste at a much lesser cost. The smell is barely noticeable and employee and customer complaints have significantly reduced.
What we liked about Virotec was that they did the lot – technology, design, engineering, application, monitoring and liaison with the regulatory authorities. As we are now well below our discharge limits we have one less worry. “
“ Civil Mining and Construction (CMC) is a large civil contractor. We were developing a disused industrial site and we urgently needed to remove around 25,000 litres of oily sludge from an underground tank. The oily sludge smelled and had high level concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbons including benzene and xylenes, so it could not be sent to landfill.
In only 4 – 5 weeks Virotec used their unique microbial technology to destroy all of the contaminants, so that the sludge could be sent to waste as general landfill. This is a much shorter time period than standard methods of land farming and bioremediation,.
Virotec put our project back on its’ time track at a lower than expected cost. They also treated components that cause significant health issues which cannot be remediated by traditional methods. All the boxes were ticked and we are very happy. “
“ Excellent Plating Works Pty Ltd (EPW) is one of the largest production electrocoaters in Australia. What we wanted from Virotec was:
- compliance with Melbourne Water’s heavy metal trade waste discharge limits
- a re-classification of our sludge to “non-prescribed” waste for possible solids re-use
- greatly increased recycling and greatly reduced disposal/management costs
- better dewatering efficiency to improve water quality and increase plant throughput
- large scale savings in treatment costs by eliminating expensive polymer flocculants
Virotec optimised the performance of our wastewater treatment process including reagents, technical support and liaison with regulatory authorities.
Our wish list was exceeded and our trade waste discharge is well below EPA limits. There are better than expected cost savings for factory process flows. These guys know their stuff. “
“ We are a well known Australian large-scale copper, chrome, and arsenate (CCA) treatment plant. Our leachate ponds had CCA contaminated water and we were not complying with our discharge limits. We had no one to turn to but we knew that Virotec had successfully treated cyanide contaminated water in Romania which also contained arsenic.
After successful testing, Virotec treated our leachate ponds and the CCA metal levels dramatically reduced to well below our licence limits – we would not be shut down!
Virotec are unusual in that they will work with you, no matter how hard the environmental problem is, to solve your issues, improve your current practices and save you money. “