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Case Study: Freeport-McMoRan

Background to the challenge

Freeport-McMoRan is the world’s largest producer of molybdenum. They are also a significant gold, oil and natural gas producer.

The company operates large, geographically-diverse assets with significant reserves of natural resources. As an international leader in mining and natural resources, Freeport-McMoRan has developed corporate environmental policies to minimise their environmental impact.

The problem

In line with their environmental policies, Freeport-McMoRan needed to upgrade a heavy vehicle wash pad to meet standards. Oily water with high levels of solids was being discharged to a mine site creek – their 10,000L coalescing plate separator was constantly breaking down.

Freeport-McMoRan approached Cleanawater to supply a more effective solution. Oily water would need to be treated effectively before being discharged – an upgraded system that would separate oils and solids from wash water would be required. As water cannons were used to wash down equipment, a high-flow, low-maintenance and automated solution would be ideal.


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What Cleanawater did

Cleanawater reviewed key site information and discharge standards. As a result, we identified a hydrocyclone oil water separator as the ideal solution.

So we installed our DEOIL20 unit which is capable of processing 20,000L of water per hour. We coupled the skid-mounted, self-installed system with a floating oil skimmer in the wash pad sump. This would remove oils, grease, hydrocarbons to 10 parts per million.


  • Low-cost water treatment solution
  • Immediate return against water disposal costs
  • Significant saving on oil separator repair costs
  • Enabled Freeport-McMoRan to meet Environmental Duty of Care
  • Zero downtime during install
  • Low maintenance requirements

After-sales support

Comprehensive after-sales service. Seven days a week. That's the CleanaWater support promise.

We have industry experts located in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Newcastle. So you can always speak to somebody who understands your local market.

They're available around the clock to answer any queries you may have – whether it's about our systems or odour and water treatment in general.

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Cleanawater's end-to-end process

Step 1

Process Development

Cleanawater's project engineers confirm all site parameters, commence design and process evaluations on specific requirements for your waste water treatment plant works.

Step 2

Conceptual Modelling

Conceptual 3D models, predictive flow and performance analysis models are tested prior to manufacturing a site's waste treatment system.

Step 3


We update the design briefs and create build drawings before manufacturing and commissioning at our Melbourne facility.

Step 4


The Cleanawater team complete water waste management installation and commissioning on site – without disrupting your operations.

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