Mount Morgan mine pit.
Mount Morgan mine pit. Chris Ison

Carbine to extract copper from Mount Morgan mine pit water

A RESOURCE company will take over the Mount Morgan mine water treatment plant - and use it to extract up to 300 tonnes of copper from the water every year.

The Queensland Government announced in parliament on Thursday it had entered into a contract with Carbine Resources to treat contaminated water at the historic copper and gold mine.

Carbine will take over the existing lime dosing water treatment plant at the mine and announced it is planning to retrofit the plant with an "ion exchanger" to treat the water.

In a statement Carbine said it was aiming to extract 300 tonnes of copper from the pit water

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the company would be extracting gold and pyrite from other parts of the mine.

"Carbine is also looking into using cutting-edge technology to extract gold, copper and pyrite resources from the tailings stockpiles, and copper from the pit water, giving a piece of proud Queensland mining history a new opportunity to be a mineral producer once again," he said.

Carbine said the new technology would improve the quality of water being released into the Dee River from the mine.

"Carbine's management of the water treatment activities on site at Mount Morgan targets improving both the volume and quality of treated water entering the Dee River," the statement said.

Mr Lynham told parliament Carbine's technology would triple the amount of water compared to the existing treatment plant.

"The government has been operating a lime dosing water treatment plant on site since 2008, removing metal contaminants and neutralising acid levels before treated water is allowed to enter the Dee River," he said.

"With Carbine's specialist technology, fresh water will not be needed. Carbine will treat up to 500 megalitres of mine pit water over 12 months. This is at least three times what the existing treatment plant achieved in 2014-15."