Waste management and processing

Nickel for life

Waste management and processing

From the results of operation monitoring it is known that LGS performance in treating the waste water is more effective than processing with the conventional settling pond method.

The liquid waste (effluent) generated from the mining operations and processing of nickel ores is treated to reduce the content of total suspended solids (TSS) and Chromium (Cr6+). PT Vale is committed to processing the liquid waste to meet the quality standards before it is returned to the water bodies.

Since 2013, the Company has been implementing the “Effluent Project” program, to process liquid waste in an integrated manner by operating the Pakalangkai Waste Water Treatment (WWT). The WWT Pakalangkai Unit was built with an investment of US$1.9 million and has 85 integrated waste water deposition ponds with a total capacity of 15.4 million cubic meters.

In 2016, the Company built the Lamella Gravity Settler (LGS) facility with an investment of US$3.2 million. The LGS facility has 17 integrated deposition ponds with a capacity of 16 million cubic meters. The construction of this facility is a form of the Company’s compliance following the enactment of the 2006 Minister of Environment Regulation No. 9 concerning the Quality Standard of Waste Water for Business and/or Nickel Ore Mining Activities. The construction of the first-ever LGS facility for the mining industry was carried out in collaboration with the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).

Living with Lakes

Matano lakeMatano lake

The existence of Pakalangkai WWT and LGS has enabled us to treat the liquid waste so it is safe to flow back to the water bodies. The LGS facility minimizes Chromium 6 Valency (Cr6+), Total Chromium (Cr Total) and TSS (Total Suspended Solids) and other pollutants in waste water from the Company’s mining areas to the levels below the environmental standards set by the Government.

The results of measurements of TSS and Cr6+ levels in Lake Matano and Lake Mahalona are always far below the thresholds set by the government (TSS at 200 ppm, Cr6+ at 0.1 ppm). The water bodies of the lakes look clear even though PT Vale has been operating for five decades in Sorowako.