An article in (Swanepoel, Esmarie, 2009) suggested that South Africa is heading into a water crisis with a predicted shortfall of 21% by 2013. This shortfall can be prevented but
not totally removed by the current gap in the market in the mining sector of South Africa for
the treatment of the effluent water that collects at the bottom of the mines.
Environmental and Remedial Technology Holdings (Earth) has developed a new method of
treating the effluent water by means of ion-exchange. This new method is currently being
tested by way of a pilot plant based in Boksburg.
This project will outline the methods and Industrial Engineering practices that will be used in
the development of a full commercial water treatment plant for Earth. A fully automated
plant will be compared to a labour intense plant, using an economic analysis approach, to
test the project’s feasibility. This approach will allow Earth to gather information on their
solution which can be used to attract investors.
The aim of this project is to develop a crucial asset in the development of an ion-exchange
water treatment plant for Earth.
The implementation of this feasibility study will benefit Earth in the following ways:
• Lowering the implementation costs for new plant
• Attract investors
• Identification of the costs and benefits
• Take full advantage of the gap in the market
• Make an impact on various interest groups
• Enable Earth to make decisions at the correct time
Thesis (B Eng. (Industrial and Systems Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2010.