Global Aquatica: combatting the environmental impacts of mining

Global Aquatica: combatting the environmental impacts of mining
Written by Vahram Papyan,

Global Aquatica’s new process has been designed to solve a significant environmental problem caused by Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). The innovative two-step process is a major breakthrough and proved to efficiently remove the contaminates from AMD, neutralising its acidity, making it reusable again. What remains after conversion are high purity recycled products such as mixed metal oxide/rare earth oxides, sulphur and sulphuric acid. 

What is AMD?

AMD forms when sulphide minerals are exposed to atmospheric oxygen during mining or other large-scale excavations. When exposed to water and oxygen, most sulphide minerals oxidise and form sulphuric acid, which, if untreated, can enter the surface or groundwater. Contaminated waters become rich in sulphuric acid and dissolved iron. When the iron settles out of the water, it can form red, orange, or yellow sediments in the bottom of streams.

Environmental problem on a global scale

The environmental problems associated with acid mine drainage and the release of acid water containing elevated concentrations of metals from mining wastes is an issue on a global scale. The environmental impact of AMD can be devastating. For example, the leaching of AMD into surface waters pollutes over 20,000 km of streams in the USA alone.  

Mining is an integral part of our economy, but it comes at a price. The development and operation of mines may have adverse environmental impacts that can’t always be repaired or undone years later when they’re closed down. With climate change on the rise, it is more important than ever for Australia to take care of its environment and embrace new technologies while managing risks. 

What’s next?

After several years of rigorous testing, the company is now ready to install and operate its first 1 Megalitre plant at Mount Morgan, Queensland in collaboration with Heritage Minerals. The new plant would enable Global Aquatica to demonstrate the technology’s commercial and environmental potential at a large scale.  

Under the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme, the company was awarded a $1,000,000 Accelerating Commercialisation grant to commercialise their novel technology.  

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Global Aquatica: combatting the environmental impacts of mining


The companies delivering the projects have achieved outstanding results in attracting private investment.

*as at 17 June 2022 and based on the exchange rate of $1 USD to $1.42AUD – From Pitchbook analysis of recipients announced up to May 2022

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Global Aquatica: combatting the environmental impacts of mining