Addressing water issues at mine sites
The University of Arizona has developed a new solution to manage the evaporation of water from mining tailings ponds and reservoirs, while generating additional energy reserves through solar panels.
Developed by Moe Momayez from the university’s Department of Mining and Geological Engineeering and Nathan Barba, managing partner at RePower Design, the Hexocover consists of individual hexagonal plastic panels that can be arranged to fit individual water surface dimensions. These form a cover over the water to slow the evaporation process and can be fitted with solar cells to simultaneously generate electricity. The panels are fitted with a propulsion system and GPS to allow remote configuration and for the cover to move easily during refilling.
Hexocover addresses a variety of salient water issues in mining such as the scarcity of water for operations and the high cost of replacement resources of energy at mining operations in remote locations.