KSB – open pit dewatering in mining calls for sturdy, dependable and efficient pumps

Water is present all over the place in mining and its management varies based on its position within the mining processes. In a latest in-depth article by pumps main KSB, the corporate outlines how this in turn influences the selection of applied sciences utilized in pumping water. “Alongside the safe supply and restoration of process water is the problem of eradicating floor water. Process water and groundwater include abrasive and corrosive parts in various quantities which have an opposed affect on pump efficiency and life. Working situations, remote locations, varying temperature ranges and the shortage of electric power are additionally highly influential factors.”

The copper mines in Chile and the iron ore mines in Western Australia could additionally be many hundreds of miles apart, but these mining operations still require dewatering and the protected disposal of probably contaminated water. “The similar may be mentioned of the coal mines of Mozambique and the silver mines of Mexico. What they all have in widespread is a requirement for environment friendly and efficient water and slurry pumps. Well-matched options assist to maximise the longevity and effectivity of the system and likewise optimise cost-performance ratios, all attributes fulfilled by KSB’s Hard Rock Mining Division.”

The changing face of mining

The search for extra rare and valuable minerals and metals has opened up mining in international locations and places where previously the business was small scale or non-existent. Consequently, mining firms and equipment producers have needed to develop new strategies and merchandise. And with the main mining corporations having operations in many world locations, changing into a most well-liked gear provider is essential. “The dewatering market is slowly shifting from a pure CAPEX perspective to an increasingly OPEX perspective,” reports Brett Lewis, Mining Manager at KSB Australia. “This is particularly true for the massive mines that understand that poorly designed equipment that regularly fails, causes a major increase in replacement and servicing price. Some mining companies are now committing to a carbon impartial target within the subsequent 20 to 30 years, so are focussing on excessive efficiency equipment. They want to phase out diesel reliance by connecting most bores to their native electrical grid.”

KSB says it’s aware that mining corporations are recording pump efficiency and are accumulating information to match brands and higher rank their qualities or deficiencies. “This is good information for KSB as the company is committed to delivering high reliability and effectivity pumps, so serving to to cut back the carbon footprint of mining dewatering operations.
Is there a ‘one-fits-all’ pump solution?

KSB says the answer to this may be a resounding ‘no’, however “by sharing experiences between offices and likewise regularly working with the identical worldwide mining companies, KSB has been in a position to develop acceptable options. KSB’s involvement within the iron ore industries in Brazil and Australia reveal two totally different approaches to dewatering, each using vertical multi-stage pumps.”

In Brazil’s Minas Gerais State open pit iron ore mines extreme ground water, monsoons and underground lakes are issues. To preserve continuous manufacturing water needs to be pumped to a dewatering lake which has a dynamic water level that must be raised two or 3 times a 12 months. KSB Brazil’s solution is a floating station fitted with KSB vertical turbine B pumps positioned over a pontoon (Fig.1). The pontoon rises and falls with adjustments within the water stage so there isn’t a need for the pumps to be repositioned. This ends in cost-savings to the customer. After 20 successful years it has become the usual for this type of equipment in South America.
“The floating station supporting the pumps over the pontoon delivers the circulate fee requested by the client,” explains Jardel Ribeiro, Sales Manager, KSB Brazil. “Sometimes the pumps, excessive energy motors and related equipment results in the size of the floating station being increased. Stabilizing equipment that weighs greater than 200 t requires a lot of planning, along with the problem of constructing a system in such a remote space.”

Boreholes in Australia

In the Pilbara Region of Western Australia iron ore is mined in several places across the Chichester hub zone, an area between 5 and 9 km extensive and 80 km lengthy. The mineral deposit sits between 90 m and 117 m below the floor. With the groundwater and water desk often replenished in moist seasons and cyclones adding to the inundation, greater than 75% of the iron ore is beneath the water table. If an extreme quantity of water mixes with iron ore, it becomes low grade and unsuitable for export, which finally ends up in massive income losses. Also, surface dewatering processes are extraordinarily expensive if the water is very high.
The accepted dewatering process inside the area is to pump the water out through boreholes. However, this isn’t with out its challenges. High water temperatures and excessive salinity end in excessive corrosion, whilst iron micro organism can develop on motors which stop efficient motor cooling. The presence of gas is a continuing threat in some areas as this causes fuel lock on the impellers leading to heavy vibrations, which locations an excellent pressure on the motor, loss of move fee and motor failure.
This implies that commonplace off-the-shelf merchandise usually are not always suitable and the incidence of failures is high. Typically, most bore pumps fail within 12 months, and sometimes only some weeks. At its Hope Valley facility in Western Australia, KSB offers mine operators with its UPA multistage borehole pump, customised to withstand site conditions. Although a more expensive product than its competitors, the UPA has been shown to deliver a considerably longer working life and decreased costs of possession. KSB’s proprietary technology that inhibits the expansion of iron bacteria makes the UPA a winner.
Trailer mounted models

In Africa the setting and minerals being mined require innovative approaches to dewatering. In the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, house to a quantity of open cut and underground copper mines wet seasons wreak flooding havoc. Here, KSB is delivering a number of totally different pumping options involving each UPA Z borehole pumps and surface-mounted Omega pumps. “To forestall mining operations from being shut down, a fast localised response is required,” says Rob Bond, Area Manager Mining-Sub-Saharan Africa. “Our answer has been to produce Omega pumps mounted on tough terrain trailers. We supply a whole bundle made up of the pump, engine/motor, couplings, gearbox, hydraulic drives and auxiliary gear together with vacuum pump, management panels, displays and so on that delivers excessive head pumping.”

A related solution can be supplied for the open solid Moatize coal mine in Mozambique where the water ranges must stay low for continuous manufacturing reliability. Whilst borehole pumps supply good reliability on a relentless foundation, when the rainy season starts, more resources are in demand KSB SA supplies skid-mounted Omega items. To date, KSB SA has equipped 152 units and all are working reliably.
Latin America

In Mexico’s Zacatecas silver mines underground water is a continuing drawback. According to Roberto Valenzuela, Sales Manager Mining KSB Mexico, the water incorporates stable particles so the excessive stress encapsulated UPA borehole pumps ought to be wear-resistant for long run efficiency. Because the dewatering pumps work at a excessive pace, the impellers and the wear ring can suffer from untimely put on. Using Multitec horizontal multistage pumps with KSB’s C6 normal chrome coating, put on is greatly minimised. “We have had pumps working in this mine for over two years with out the impellers being modified,” says Roberto Valenzuela. “It is a solution that no competitor presents, and adds value for the customer by way of lowered maintenance, spare elements and larger mining uptime.”

In Chile’s Atacama Desert copper and gold is mined at altitudes ranging between 2,000 m and four,500 m. Remote websites, mine depths and the unavailability of electrical energy wanted to drive excessive capacity pumps complicate dewatering. High volumes of water contaminated by minerals can delay drilling and blasting and lead to environmental pollution. KSB Chile has met these challenges by supplying encapsulated borehole pumps and cantilevered Etanorm pumps, driven by diesel motors.
“Our clients require high-pressure pumps in a modular configuration that may be moved with the enlargement of the open pit,” comments Patricio Araya, Mining Head KSB Chile. “The answer is to make use of horizontally positioned borehole pumps with a special configuration for sand filters encased in a pressure shroud. This gives the customer flexibility and versatility as a outcome of the equipment is compact, develops excessive pressures and is straightforward to maneuver around the website.
To accommodate rising flows and discharge pressure pumps are configured in sequence and in parallel specifically for the client’s necessities. Being coupled to diesel engines allows steady, autonomous operation in locations with out electricity for between 12 and 24 hours with out refuelling. Vertical Etanorm pumps and cantilever-type UPA pumps installed on a raft enabling them to handle the accumulation of water contained in the mine, eliminating factors corresponding to adverse suction head at high altitudes. KSB equipment for mine drainage is supplied in normal versions, with variations for rafts or properly pumps put in in strain jackets. Having viable options for dewatering adds value to the customers operations and can also be important as a outcome of annually minerals are discovered at deeper levels.
Innovation in Indonesia

Indonesia is probably certainly one of the world’s largest exporters of thermal coal, and also a serious player in copper, gold, tin, bauxite, and nickel. Here KSB pumps are acknowledged for his or her outstanding capacity to perform in extreme open pit mine sites. Its improvement of dewatering and dredge pump units (DnD), as an answer for mining functions, particularly for open-pit mine websites is one example of KSB’ dedication to continuous product enchancment and improvement. To date, more than 260 DnD pumps with GWI® LCC and LSA pumps have been installed in mines throughout Indonesia and South East Asia. In 2013, KSB Indonesia launched a brand new mannequin, the DnD Cruiser with enhancements requested by clients.
KSB builds the entire diesel driven pump unit on a barge, complete with gas tank, vacuum pump, control panel etc, and ships them on trailers for simple commissioning at site. Because diaphragm seal are seasonal dewatering can be a seasonal activity and this implies pumps can stand idle for several months through the dry durations. Recognising this situation, KSB has launched a rental programme, whereby the pumps are supplied fully-kitted out according to the customer’s necessities. By not having to purchase pressure gauge , prospects are relieved of the costs of ownership and know that after they require units they arrive ready for operation.

KSB’s mine dewatering systems enable the protected and environment friendly lowering of groundwater in open pit dewatering, underground drainage and borehole drainage functions. Regardless of a mine’s location, the type of mining operation being carried out, the geological and the aggressive and corrosive nature of the water, KSB has fluid dealing with applied sciences that can match all eventualities. This scenario has come about through the cross-fertilisation of concepts, technologies and experiences gained over many decades by our companies around the world, supported by extensive investment in analysis and growth. Wherever a pumping resolution is required, we will bring a co-ordinated response to the desk.

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