Environmental technology company Chromafora’s new technology removes metals from mine water at the LKAB mine in Malmberget. A new evaluation shows that more than 99% of the metals are captured.

– Our method both detoxifies the water and makes valuable substances available as new raw materials, says Johan Seijmer, Chromafora CEO.

Swedish environmental technology company Chromafora’s Selmext cleaning technology separates dissolved metals from liquids by selectively capturing specific substances. The pilot plant evaluated together with LKAB in its Malmberget mine has now been shown to capture more than 99% of the metals in the mine water. The results from pilot-scale real-world operations are as good as, or in many cases better than, those previously measured in a laboratory environment.

Digitization demands great amounts of metals
– The world is crying out for metals in large quantities to cope with e.g. digitization and the transition to green technology. Without innovative, circular solutions, it will not be possible to sustainably meet that demand. We have a unique solution to this problem and we’re using our technology to help make valuable resources available from waste streams, says Johan Seijmer, Chromafora CEO.

The method, which selects substances for capture with a high degree of precision, allows removal of the metals from the concentrate formed. They can then be converted in the same way as metals from conventional mining operations. Thus the technology enables the mining industry to extract raw materials from waste from its existing mining operations, while also making sure the substances do not leak into the immediate surroundings.

– We’re pleased that Chromafora’s technology treats our mine water so effectively while also extracting other substances as a bonus to iron ore mining, says Mattias Ylipää, process water treatment research engineer at LKAB.

Purifies water and provides new resources
Selmext technology combines conventional filter technology with selective chemistry, allowing the installation to capture the intended substances. In the conventional methods formerly used to treat mine water, all substances were mixed in a sludge for final deposition in a landfill.

– The strength of our technology resides in its ability to capture precisely the substances we aim for. We help mines take responsibility for treating the water they discharge; we provide users with the opportunity for new revenues and help them transition toward a more circular operation, says Johan Seijmer.

The system is easily connected to existing treatment plants with different capacity requirements.