A startup tames mine waters

A new method has been developed for mine water purification. It allows separating metals from the waste sludge created during the mining process and making them insoluble. According to Global Ecoprocess Services Oy’s (EPSE) CEO Lasse Musakka (in the photo) insoluble sludge is not safe and can be recycled.

“A big problem in current purification methods is that there are soluble heavy metals in the sludge that can be released into the environment. EPSE’s method will solve this problem.

The method has been tested in laboratories and mines.” According to Lasse Musakka and the coordinator of the mine water network Kaisa Turunen (GTK), tests have proved that the method works. A number of organisations, including the University of Eastern Finland, Savonia University of Applied Sciences and the National Institute for Health and Welfare participated in the pilot project. GTK provided the geochemical expertise.

“The mine water network coordinated by GTK is an essential partner for the startups in the sector. Alone we could not have acquired all the required competence,” Musakka says.

Next goal – South Africa

EPSE’s method will also be tested in South Africa, where four pilot projects are being prepared. According to Lasse Musakka, the separation method that saves water and recycles water is especially beneficial in countries, where water is scarce.

“This technology does not require large investments and its costs of use are low,” Musakka explains.

The cleantech method that reduces the strain on the environment by mines was created as a result of Finnish metal industry expertise. In addition to the mining industry, this method can be applied in many industrial processes.