3AWater offers a portable device for on-site measurements of metals in waters. Our technology gives the mining industry real-time information on the metal levels in their process and wastewaters and enables them to react to any anomalies in a fraction of time that is possible at the moment. Features such as ease of use, simultaneous multimetal analysis, broad measurement range and affordability (≤ 50 € per measurement) make the technology unique against competitors.
Controlling mine waters is currently complicated because of the expensive and slow laboratory measurements. Most mines determine the metal levels in their waters by taking water samples and sending them to an external laboratory for analysis. The analyses cost approximately 100 €/sample and it takes weeks until the results are received. The long delay makes it impossible to have up-to-date information on metal levels in the mine waters which creates two major problems. First, changes in the metal levels of process waters cannot be known in real-time and therefore the process cannot be controlled in an optimal way on a day-to-day basis. This creates major losses for the companies in terms of poor process efficiency. This is especially large problems in mines with closed water circulation where metals easily accumulate in the waters. The second problem is that the slow and expensive laboratory measurements do not give sufficient and up-to-date data on the metal levels in wastewaters. Therefore, the water purification cannot be optimized and the mines risk exceeding their discharge quotas. This leads to excessive water purification cost or fines and poor public perception if the discharge quotas are exceeded.
The market size of laboratory-based measurements of the mine waters is approximately 100 M$. The added value provided by the real-time and on-site technology will boost the market to a new level.
On-site and real-time multimetal analyzer of water
Mining is done increasingly in fragile environments such as in the arctic, which increases the environmental risks of the operations. These risks have become one of the main issues which are making mining operations difficult in Europe as well as globally. Our technology has an especially high impact on the mining operations in the more challenging environments, where the regulations are stricter, and it is crucial to ensure a low environmental impact. Our technology will facilitate cleaner and more profitable mining as well as help the mining industry to gain a social license for their operations.