Veolia Environnement (VE) CEO Antoine Frerot forecasts that the company's sales from treating waste water from mining and metals will double to €1.5B ($2.1B) by 2020. The market is seen rising to over €20B from €13-14B currently.
Veolia is targeting the mining and metals sector - the world's second-largest user of water - as part of a strategy to generate half its revenues from industry to offset falling margins and revenue at the company's municipal-water operations.
Around 70% of new projects at the big six mining firms are in areas that suffer from water shortages.
And Veolia reckons it can recover minerals from the waste water as well as treating it.