Peat Dewatering

Barrick Gold/Westnar
Alaska, USA
Project Year: 2007

This project involved budget development work for a proposed gold mine in a remote area of Alaska. The mine location was distant from power utilities, oil pipelines and other possible sources of energy.There were, however, large peat bogs close to the proposed mine site.
MG Engineering was approached to perform a feasibility study to thaw and de-water the peat to feed a power boiler (by others).

Included tasks in the scope of work was assisting with testing program, helping to assure vendor tests were comparable, acting as main vendor contact and writing a report at the end of the test program. Further tasks involved developing options for de-watering the peat to 50% moisture. This included design criteria, preliminary process and control diagrams, preliminary general arrangement drawings, obtaining budget pricing from suitable vendors, heat & material balances, major equipment requirements, piping and heat exchanger sizing and a capital cost/operating cost estimate.

Many options were considered, using a wide variety of equipment from the mining, pulp and paper and even the food processing industry.

Ultimately, the huge volumes of water and peat involved, as well as the low heat value of the peat in the nearby bogs, made this project unviable.