Copper sulphide concentrators draw water from local sources for use in the production process. At Bozshakol, water is drawn from the nearby Satpayev canal and reservoir system.
Water is mixed with crushed ore and reagents in the concentrator during the grinding and flotation processes.
Slurry and waste water from flotation are transferred to the tailings thickeners.
Water is also recycled from copper concentrate in the dewatering phase.
The tailings thickeners reduce water content to 40%. Recycled process water is transferred back into the concentrator.
40% is the minimum moisture content for maintaining a pumpable viscosity.
The tailings are then transferred to the tailings storage facility.
Water is reclaimed from the tailings storage facility for use in the concentrator.
The Bozshakol and Akotogay concentrators are designed to recycle 75% of water withdrawn from local sources, with the only significant losses being evaporation from the tailings storage facility.