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

Water is present everywhere in mining and its control varies based on its position in the mining processes. In a latest in-depth article by pumps main KSB, the company outlines how this in flip influences the number of technologies utilized in pumping water. “Alongside the safe provide and recovery of process water is the challenge of removing ground water. Process water and groundwater include abrasive and corrosive elements in varying portions which have an adverse affect on pump performance and life. Working circumstances, distant locations, various temperature ranges and the shortage of electric energy are also highly influential factors.”
The copper mines in Chile and the iron ore mines in Western Australia may be many 1000’s of miles aside, however these mining operations nonetheless require dewatering and the protected disposal of probably contaminated water. “The identical can be mentioned of the coal mines of Mozambique and the silver mines of Mexico. What they all have in frequent is a requirement for environment friendly and effective water and slurry pumps. Well-matched solutions assist to maximize the longevity and efficiency of the system and also optimise cost-performance ratios, all attributes fulfilled by KSB’s Hard Rock Mining Division.”
The changing face of mining
The search for more uncommon and valuable minerals and metals has opened up mining in nations and places the place beforehand the industry was small scale or non-existent. Consequently, mining companies and gear manufacturers have needed to develop new methods and merchandise. And with the main mining corporations having operations in plenty of international locations, changing into a most well-liked tools supplier is crucial. “The dewatering market is slowly shifting from a pure CAPEX viewpoint to an more and more OPEX perspective,” reviews Brett Lewis, Mining Manager at KSB Australia. “This is particularly true for the big mines that understand that poorly designed equipment that frequently fails, causes a major improve in replacement and servicing cost. Some mining corporations are actually committing to a carbon impartial target within the subsequent 20 to 30 years, so are focussing on excessive efficiency gear. They want to part out diesel reliance by connecting most bores to their native electrical grid.”
KSB says it is conscious that mining corporations are recording pump performance and are accumulating knowledge to compare brands and higher rank their qualities or deficiencies. “This is sweet news for KSB as the company is committed to delivering high reliability and efficiency pumps, so serving to to reduce 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 offices and likewise incessantly working with the identical worldwide mining companies, KSB has been capable of develop appropriate options. KSB’s involvement within the iron ore industries in Brazil and Australia show two 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 keep steady production water needs to be pumped to a dewatering lake which has a dynamic water level that should be raised two or thrice a yr. 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 modifications in the water degree so there isn’t a want for the pumps to be repositioned. This leads to cost-savings to the customer. After 20 profitable years it has turn into the standard for this type of tools in South America.
“The floating station supporting the pumps over the pontoon delivers the flow rate requested by the customer,” explains Jardel Ribeiro, Sales Manager, KSB Brazil. “Sometimes the pumps, excessive power motors and related tools leads to the dimensions of the floating station being elevated. Stabilizing gear that weighs more than 200 t requires plenty of planning, in addition to the problem of building a system in such a remote area.”
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 wide and eighty 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 amount of water mixes with iron ore, it turns into low grade and unsuitable for export, which outcomes in large revenue losses. Also, floor dewatering processes are extraordinarily expensive if the water could be very excessive.
The accepted dewatering process inside the region is to pump the water out by way of boreholes. However, this is not without its challenges. High water temperatures and excessive salinity lead to extreme corrosion, while iron micro organism can develop on motors which prevent environment friendly motor cooling. The presence of gas is a continuing risk in some areas as this causes fuel lock on the impellers leading to heavy vibrations, which places a great pressure on the motor, loss of move fee and motor failure.
This implies that commonplace off-the-shelf merchandise aren’t at all times appropriate 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 supplies mine operators with its UPA multistage borehole pump, customised to withstand site conditions. Although a more expensive product than its opponents, the UPA has been shown to ship a considerably longer working life and lowered costs of possession. KSB’s proprietary technology that inhibits the growth of iron micro organism makes the UPA a winner.
Trailer mounted items
In Africa the environment and minerals being mined require revolutionary approaches to dewatering. In the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to a quantity of open reduce and underground copper mines wet seasons wreak flooding havoc. Here, KSB is delivering a number of completely different pumping options involving both UPA Z borehole pumps and surface-mounted Omega pumps. “To prevent mining เกจวัดแรงดันคือ 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 rough terrain trailers. We supply an entire package deal made up of the pump, engine/motor, couplings, gearbox, hydraulic drives and auxiliary equipment together with vacuum pump, control panels, displays and so on that delivers excessive head pumping.”
A comparable answer can additionally be provided for the open cast Moatize coal mine in Mozambique where the water ranges should remain low for continuous manufacturing reliability. Whilst borehole pumps supply good reliability on a constant basis, when the wet season starts, extra sources are in demand KSB SA supplies 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 drawback. According to Roberto Valenzuela, Sales Manager Mining KSB Mexico, the water incorporates stable particles so the excessive strain encapsulated UPA borehole pumps ought to be wear-resistant for long run efficiency. Because the dewatering pumps work at a excessive velocity, the impellers and the put on and tear ring can endure from untimely put on. Using Multitec horizontal multistage pumps with KSB’s C6 commonplace chrome coating, put on is significantly minimised. “We have had pumps operating in this mine for over two years without the impellers being changed,” says Roberto Valenzuela. “It is an answer that no competitor offers, and provides worth for the shopper by way of decreased upkeep, spare elements 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 electricity needed to drive high capacity pumps complicate dewatering. High volumes of water contaminated by minerals can delay drilling and blasting and result in environmental air pollution. KSB Chile has met these challenges by supplying encapsulated borehole pumps and cantilevered Etanorm pumps, pushed by diesel motors.
“Our prospects require high-pressure pumps in a modular configuration that may be moved with the growth of the open pit,” comments Patricio Araya, Mining Head KSB Chile. “The resolution is to make use of horizontally positioned borehole pumps with a special configuration for sand filters encased in a pressure shroud. This gives the shopper flexibility and flexibility because the tools is compact, develops high pressures and is simple to maneuver across the web site.
To accommodate rising flows and discharge strain pumps are configured in sequence and in parallel particularly for the client’s requirements. Being coupled to diesel engines permits continuous, autonomous operation in places without electrical energy for between 12 and 24 hours without refuelling. Vertical Etanorm pumps and cantilever-type UPA pumps installed on a raft enabling them to deal with the buildup of water inside the mine, eliminating factors such as adverse suction head at excessive altitudes. KSB equipment for mine drainage is equipped in normal variations, with variations for rafts or well pumps put in in stress jackets. Having viable solutions for dewatering adds worth to the purchasers operations and is also essential because each year minerals are discovered at deeper ranges.
Innovation in Indonesia
Indonesia is doubtless one of the world’s largest exporters of thermal coal, and in addition a major player in copper, gold, tin, bauxite, and nickel. Here KSB pumps are acknowledged for their excellent capacity to perform in extreme open pit mine sites. Its improvement of dewatering and dredge pump units (DnD), as an answer for mining functions, especially for open-pit mine sites is one instance of KSB’ dedication to continuous product enchancment and development. 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 model new model, the DnD Cruiser with enhancements requested by prospects.
KSB builds the whole diesel pushed pump unit on a barge, complete with fuel tank, vacuum pump, control panel etc, and ships them on trailers for simple commissioning at site. Because monsoon rains are seasonal dewatering is also a seasonal activity and this means pumps can stand idle for a number of months through the dry periods. Recognising this example, KSB has launched a rental programme, whereby the pumps are supplied fully-kitted out according to the customer’s requirements. By not having to purchase the pump units, customers are relieved of the costs of ownership and know that once they require units they come ready for operation.
KSB’s mine dewatering systems allow the protected and efficient decreasing of groundwater in open pit dewatering, underground drainage and borehole drainage purposes. Regardless of a mine’s location, the kind of mining operation being carried out, the geological and the aggressive and corrosive nature of the water, KSB has fluid dealing with 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 a long time by our companies around the globe, supported by extensive funding in research and development. Wherever a pumping resolution is required, we are able to deliver a co-ordinated response to the table.

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