The conceptual development and piloting of an innovative water treatment system for process water produced by a uranium mine mill is described. The process incorporates lime/CO2 softening (Stage 1), reverse osmosis (Stage 2) and biopolishing (Stage 3) to produce water of quality suitable for release to the receiving environment. Comprehensive performance data are presented for each stage. The unique features of the proposed process are:

  • recycling of the lime/CO2 softening sludge to the uranium mill as a neutralant,

  • the use of power station off-gas for carbonation,

  • the use of residual ammonia as the pH buffer in carbonation; and

  • the recovery and recycling of ammonia from the RO reject stream.

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