How much water does that wash-plant consume?

I was out of the country from the last BOA meeting and just listened to the audio transcript.  The representative from the promoter for the Larson/Stanton/Johnson mine was asked about water consumption from the wash plant that they’re proposing.

Brian Iverson said that the R&J mine would consume about 10,000 gallons a day (click HERE for the audio recording of that part of the 2-Feb visit to R&J).  It would seem that he was in error.  Way in error.  On the low side.  Click HERE to listen what was said at the 27-June meeting (this is where I get the rest of the factoids for this article).

The LSJ mine will have four 70 gallon/minute wells — 280 gallons/minute maximum capacity.  Or 16,800 gallons/hour, 403,200 gallons/day, 147,168,000 gallons/year.  They THINK that’s enough capacity for their plant.

The holding pond will require between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000 gallons to fill, to get the process started.

Somebody should check my arithmetic here, but this is what I get.

The wash plant is proposed to run 24/7 and will produce about 400 tons of sand per hour (you have to wait til the very end of the audio recording to hear that — they start at 500 tons/DAY).  Their goal is to have the sand leave the mine at 5% moisture content (on the low side, maybe as much as 10%).

So presumably that’s 20 tons of water per hour (of wash plant operation) leaving the mine site (5% of 400 tons/hour).  Or, converting that to gallons (at 8.33 lbs of water per gallon, which translates to 240 gallons/ton) about 4802 gallons of water per hour of operating the wash plant.

Or 115,246 gallons of water per day…

Or 42,064,826 gallons of water per year…

I’m looking at the drought conditions outside my window, and adding up all these mines soaking up that kind of water, and wondering whether we’ve thought this through.

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