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Purification of Acidic Quarry Waters


The New Technology of the Processing of Barite Raw for Purification of Acid Quarry Waters from Ions of Heavy Metals

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment
  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Ryzhova T B

Leading Institute
Georgian Technical University, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • San Francisco State University, USA, CA, San Francisco

Project summary

The permanent increase of production power and the intensification and acceleration of mineral extraction, redouble the degradation of the environment.

The formation of quarry waters at the opening and processing of deposits, which are polluted with ions of heavy metals, has a destructive influence on nature. The opening process of deposits of copper and polymetal ores is the reason why quarry waters are polluted with ions of copper, zinc, lead, cadmium, chromium and other elements. The quantity and composition of soiling elements depend on the type and character of mines and also on climatic conditions. So, the solution of ecological problems requires an inpidual approach for each specific deposit.

The Madneuli Mining Plant is the largest mining enterprise in Georgia (MMPE).

The main purpose of this project is purification of acid quarry waters (AQW), formed as a result of the processing and exploitation of the quarry of the Madneuli Mining Plant (MMPE).

The quarry waters are released during the opening and processing of the Madneuli Madneuli is situated 90km southwest of Tbilisi. barite polymetal ore mine by atmospheric precipitation and surface water.

Ionic exchange takes place as a result of contact with the rocks.

The existence of pyrite and chalcopyrite in the rocks and the influence of air oxygen and carbothionic bacteria under certain conditions are the reason for the formation of acid quarry waters Acid quarry waters - AQW.

According to their content the AQW of the Madneuli Mining Plant belong to sulphate-class salty waters.

Debit and chemical content of AQW are within the wide limits and they depend on climatic, seasonal conditions.

The average AQW debit totals 2000-3000m3/day.

The content of main ions in AQW is as follows:

SO42- 5-10 gram/liter

Cu 0.5-1.2 gram/liter

Zn 0.25-0.3 gram/liter

Fe 0.5-1 gram/liter

At present there AQW are obtained partially in the River Mashavera, which is the reason why ichthyofauna is disappearing in the river and why the population of the region is in ecological danger.

The main purpose of this project is the purification of AQW from heavy metals.

New technology is proposed to solve this problem – processing of local raw materials, the stock of which constitutes 1.8-2.0 million tons.

Laboratory tests showed that the reagent obtained from this processing will ensure the full purification of AQW from heavy metals.

Heavy metals are precipitated in combinations of the commodity products from the Madneuli Mining Plant.

In addition, as a result of this technology we get Blanfix (BaSO4), which has a wide sphere of application.

The processing and realization of this project makes the following possible:

· to achieve the main purpose - to purify AQW from ions of heavy metals below possible-limit concentration;

· to involve valuable waste components in the production process (4-9 % of annual product);

· to create improved conditions for floatation at MMPE;

· rational use of water resources.

· to obtain a new valuable commodity product;

· to use stock of barite;

· to improve the ecological situation in the region.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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