KSB – open pit dewatering in mining demands durable, reliable and environment friendly pumps

Water is current everywhere in mining and its management varies according to its position in the mining processes. In a current in-depth article by pumps main KSB, the company outlines how this in flip influences the selection of applied sciences used in pumping water. “Alongside the secure provide and recovery of course of water is the challenge of removing floor water. Process water and groundwater include abrasive and corrosive elements in varying portions which have an opposed affect on pump efficiency and life. Working situations, distant locations, various temperature ranges and the dearth of electrical power are additionally highly influential factors.”
The copper mines in Chile and the iron ore mines in Western Australia may be many thousands of miles apart, however these mining operations still require dewatering and the protected disposal of potentially contaminated water. “The same could be said of the coal mines of Mozambique and the silver mines of Mexico. What all of them have in common is a requirement for environment friendly and efficient water and slurry pumps. Well-matched options help to maximise the longevity and effectivity of the system and in addition optimise cost-performance ratios, all attributes fulfilled by KSB’s Hard Rock Mining Division.”
The changing face of mining
The seek for more uncommon and treasured minerals and metals has opened up mining in nations and places where previously the business was small scale or non-existent. Consequently, mining firms and gear manufacturers have had to develop new techniques and merchandise. And with the most important mining companies having operations in many global places, turning into a most well-liked gear provider is crucial. “The dewatering market is slowly shifting from a pure CAPEX viewpoint to an increasingly OPEX perspective,” reports Brett Lewis, Mining Manager at KSB Australia. “This is very true for the massive mines that notice that poorly designed gear that frequently fails, causes a major increase in replacement and servicing value. Some mining firms are now committing to a carbon impartial target in the next 20 to 30 years, so are focussing on high effectivity tools. They wish to section out diesel reliance by connecting most bores to their local electrical grid.”
KSB says it’s aware that mining companies are recording pump efficiency and are accumulating information to compare manufacturers and higher rank their qualities or deficiencies. “This is nice information for KSB as the corporate is dedicated to delivering excessive reliability and efficiency pumps, so helping to minimize back the carbon footprint of mining dewatering operations.
Is there a ‘one-fits-all’ pump solution?
KSB says the reply to this is a resounding ‘no’, but “by sharing experiences between places of work and also incessantly working with the identical worldwide mining firms, KSB has been in a position to develop applicable options. KSB’s involvement within the iron ore industries in Brazil and Australia reveal two different approaches to dewatering, each employing vertical multi-stage pumps.”
In Brazil’s Minas Gerais State open pit iron ore mines excessive floor water, monsoons and underground lakes are issues. To maintain steady production water must be pumped to a dewatering lake which has a dynamic water level that have to be raised two or three times a year. KSB Brazil’s answer is a floating station fitted with KSB vertical turbine B pumps positioned over a pontoon (Fig.1). The pontoon rises and falls with changes within the water level so there is no need for the pumps to be repositioned. This ends in cost-savings to the customer. After 20 profitable years it has turn into the usual for this kind of equipment in South America.
“The floating station supporting the pumps over the pontoon delivers the flow price requested by the client,” explains Jardel Ribeiro, Sales Manager, KSB Brazil. “Sometimes the pumps, excessive energy motors and related tools ends in the scale of the floating station being increased. Stabilizing tools that weighs more than 200 t requires a lot of planning, in addition to the challenge of constructing a system in such a distant area.”
Boreholes in Australia
In the Pilbara Region of Western Australia iron ore is mined in several places around the Chichester hub zone, an space between 5 and 9 km extensive and eighty km long. The mineral deposit sits between ninety m and 117 m below the surface. With the groundwater and water table frequently replenished in moist seasons and cyclones adding to the inundation, more than 75% of the iron ore is under the water table. If an extreme amount of water mixes with iron ore, it turns into low grade and unsuitable for export, which outcomes in large income losses. Also, surface dewatering processes are extraordinarily expensive if the water could be very high.
The accepted dewatering process throughout the region is to pump the water out through boreholes. However, this isn’t without its challenges. High water temperatures and high salinity result in excessive corrosion, whilst iron micro organism can grow on motors which stop environment friendly motor cooling. The presence of fuel is a continuing risk in some areas as this causes gas lock on the impellers leading to heavy vibrations, which places a fantastic strain on the motor, loss of move price and motor failure.
This implies that standard off-the-shelf merchandise are not all the time appropriate and the incidence of failures is high. Typically, most bore pumps fail within 12 months, and typically just a few weeks. At its Hope Valley facility in Western Australia, KSB provides mine operators with its UPA multistage borehole pump, customised to withstand site circumstances. Although a costlier product than its rivals, the UPA has been proven to deliver a considerably longer working life and lowered costs of ownership. KSB’s proprietary know-how that inhibits the expansion of iron micro organism makes the UPA a winner.
Trailer mounted items
In Africa the environment and minerals being mined require progressive approaches to dewatering. In the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, residence to several open cut and underground copper mines wet seasons wreak flooding havoc. Here, KSB is delivering several completely different pumping solutions involving both UPA Z borehole pumps and surface-mounted Omega pumps. “To stop 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 supply Omega pumps mounted on rough terrain trailers. We provide an entire package made up of the pump, engine/motor, couplings, gearbox, hydraulic drives and auxiliary gear including vacuum pump, management panels, displays and so forth that delivers excessive head pumping.”
A comparable solution can also be offered for the open cast Moatize coal mine in Mozambique the place the water ranges must stay low for steady production reliability. Whilst borehole pumps offer good reliability on a constant basis, when the rainy season begins, more sources are in demand KSB SA provides skid-mounted Omega units. To date, KSB SA has supplied 152 models and all are working reliably.
Latin America
In Mexico’s Zacatecas silver mines underground water is a constant downside. According to Roberto Valenzuela, Sales Manager Mining KSB Mexico, the water incorporates stable particles so the high strain encapsulated UPA borehole pumps ought to be wear-resistant for long term effectivity. Because the dewatering pumps work at a high velocity, the impellers and the damage ring can undergo from untimely put on. Using Multitec horizontal multistage pumps with KSB’s C6 standard chrome coating, wear is greatly minimised. “We have had pumps operating in this mine for over two years with out the impellers being modified,” says Roberto Valenzuela. “It is a solution that no competitor provides, and adds worth for the customer through lowered upkeep, spare components and higher mining uptime.”
In Chile’s Atacama Desert copper and gold is mined at altitudes ranging between 2,000 m and four,500 m. Remote sites, mine depths and the unavailability of electrical energy wanted to drive high capability pumps complicate dewatering. High volumes of water contaminated by minerals can delay drilling and blasting and end in environmental air 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,” feedback Patricio Araya, Mining Head KSB Chile. “The resolution is to use horizontally positioned borehole pumps with a particular configuration for sand filters encased in a pressure shroud. This provides the shopper flexibility and flexibility as a result of the equipment is compact, develops excessive pressures and is simple to maneuver across the web site.
To accommodate increasing flows and discharge pressure pumps are configured in sequence and in parallel particularly for the client’s necessities. Being coupled to diesel engines permits continuous, autonomous operation in locations with out electrical energy for between 12 and 24 hours without refuelling. Vertical Etanorm pumps and cantilever-type UPA pumps put in on a raft enabling them to deal with the buildup of water contained in the mine, eliminating components such as unfavorable suction head at excessive altitudes. KSB gear for mine drainage is equipped in commonplace variations, with variations for rafts or nicely pumps put in in pressure jackets. Having viable options for dewatering provides worth to the shoppers operations and is also necessary as a outcome of annually minerals are discovered at deeper ranges.
Innovation in Indonesia
Indonesia is considered one of the world’s largest exporters of thermal coal, and also a significant participant in copper, gold, tin, bauxite, and nickel. Here KSB pumps are acknowledged for his or her outstanding capacity to carry out in severe open pit mine websites. Its improvement of dewatering and dredge pump sets (DnD), as an answer for mining functions, especially for open-pit mine websites is one instance of KSB’ dedication to steady product improvement and growth. To date, more than 260 DnD pumps with GWI® LCC and LSA pumps have been installed in mines across Indonesia and South East Asia. In 2013, KSB Indonesia launched a new mannequin, the DnD Cruiser with enhancements requested by clients.
Swipe builds the entire diesel pushed pump unit on a barge, full with gas tank, vacuum pump, control panel and so forth, and ships them on trailers for straightforward commissioning at site. Because monsoon rains are seasonal dewatering is also a seasonal exercise and this implies pumps can stand idle for several months in the course of the dry durations. Recognising this example, KSB has launched a rental programme, whereby the pumps are provided fully-kitted out in accordance with the customer’s necessities. By not having to purchase the pump sets, prospects are relieved of the costs of possession and know that when they require units they come ready for operation.
KSB’s mine dewatering systems allow the safe and efficient lowering of groundwater in open pit dewatering, underground drainage and borehole drainage applications. 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 handling technologies that may fit all eventualities. This state of affairs has come about by way of the cross-fertilisation of ideas, technologies and experiences gained over many many years by our companies around the globe, supported by extensive investment in analysis and improvement. Wherever a pumping resolution is required, we can bring a co-ordinated response to the desk.

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