KSB – open pit dewatering in mining calls for durable, reliable and efficient pumps

Water is current in all places in mining and its control varies according to its function in the mining processes. In a recent in-depth article by pumps major KSB, the company outlines how this in flip influences the choice of applied sciences used in pumping water. “Alongside the protected supply and restoration of process water is the problem of removing floor water. Process water and groundwater include abrasive and corrosive parts in varying portions which have an opposed affect on pump efficiency and life. Working conditions, remote locations, varying temperature ranges and the shortage of electrical power are additionally highly influential components.”
The copper mines in Chile and the iron ore mines in Western Australia may be many hundreds of miles aside, however these mining operations nonetheless require dewatering and the protected disposal of doubtless contaminated water. “The identical may be said of the coal mines of Mozambique and the silver mines of Mexico. What they all have in widespread is a requirement for efficient and efficient water and slurry pumps. Well-matched options assist to maximize 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 altering face of mining
The seek for extra rare and valuable minerals and metals has opened up mining in countries and locations where previously the industry was small scale or non-existent. Consequently, mining companies and gear producers have had to develop new techniques and products. And with the major mining corporations having operations in lots of international locations, turning into a most well-liked gear provider is crucial. “The dewatering market is slowly shifting from a pure CAPEX point of view to an increasingly OPEX perspective,” stories Brett Lewis, Mining Manager at KSB Australia. “This is particularly true for the big mines that notice that poorly designed tools that often fails, causes a major increase in replacement and servicing price. Some mining companies are now committing to a carbon impartial goal within the subsequent 20 to 30 years, so are focussing on high efficiency equipment. They wish to part out diesel reliance by connecting most bores to their local electrical grid.”
KSB says it is conscious that mining corporations are recording pump efficiency and are accumulating data to check manufacturers and better rank their qualities or deficiencies. “This is sweet news for KSB as the corporate is committed to delivering excessive 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 it is a resounding ‘no’, however “by sharing experiences between workplaces and also incessantly working with the identical international mining firms, KSB has been able to develop appropriate options. KSB’s involvement in the iron ore industries in Brazil and Australia reveal two totally different approaches to dewatering, each employing vertical multi-stage pumps.”
In Brazil’s Minas Gerais State open pit iron ore mines extreme floor water, monsoons and underground lakes are issues. To preserve steady production water needs to be pumped to a dewatering lake which has a dynamic water level that have to be raised two or thrice 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 modifications within the water stage so there isn’t any need for the pumps to be repositioned. This leads to cost-savings to the client. After 20 successful years it has turn out to be the usual for this type of tools in South America.
“The floating station supporting the pumps over the pontoon delivers the move price requested by the shopper,” explains Jardel Ribeiro, Sales Manager, KSB Brazil. “Sometimes the pumps, excessive power motors and associated equipment results in the size of the floating station being elevated. Stabilizing gear that weighs more than 200 t requires plenty of planning, along with the challenge 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 areas across the Chichester hub zone, an space between 5 and 9 km wide and 80 km lengthy. The mineral deposit sits between ninety m and 117 m below the floor. With the groundwater and water desk often replenished in wet seasons and cyclones including to the inundation, greater than 75% of the iron ore is beneath the water table. If too much water mixes with iron ore, it turns into low grade and unsuitable for export, which leads to massive income losses. Also, floor dewatering processes are extraordinarily costly if the water may be very excessive.
The accepted dewatering course of 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 result in extreme corrosion, whilst iron micro organism can develop on motors which stop efficient motor cooling. The presence of fuel is a continuing menace 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 normal off-the-shelf merchandise aren’t at all times suitable and the incidence of failures is high. Typically, most bore pumps fail inside 12 months, and generally only a few weeks. At its Hope Valley facility in Western Australia, KSB offers mine operators with its UPA multistage borehole pump, customised to withstand web site conditions. Although a dearer product than its opponents, the UPA has been proven to ship a considerably longer working life and lowered costs of ownership. KSB’s proprietary technology that inhibits the expansion of iron micro organism makes the UPA a winner.
Trailer mounted items
In Africa the setting and minerals being mined require progressive approaches to dewatering. In the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, residence to several open minimize and underground copper mines rainy seasons wreak flooding havoc. Here, KSB is delivering a quantity of different pumping solutions involving each 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 solution has been to produce Omega pumps mounted on tough terrain trailers. We provide an entire package made up of the pump, engine/motor, couplings, gearbox, hydraulic drives and auxiliary equipment together with vacuum pump, management panels, monitors etc that delivers excessive head pumping.”
A related solution can additionally be offered for the open forged Moatize coal mine in Mozambique the place the water ranges must remain low for continuous production reliability. Whilst borehole pumps provide good reliability on a relentless basis, when the wet season begins, more assets are in demand KSB SA offers 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 accommodates solid particles so the high pressure encapsulated UPA borehole pumps must be wear-resistant for long term effectivity. Because the dewatering pumps work at a excessive velocity, the impellers and the damage ring can endure from premature wear. Using Multitec horizontal multistage pumps with KSB’s C6 normal chrome coating, wear is tremendously minimised. “ Guaranteed have had pumps running in this mine for over two years without the impellers being modified,” says Roberto Valenzuela. “It is a solution that no competitor presents, and adds worth for the client through reduced upkeep, spare elements and greater mining uptime.”
In Chile’s Atacama Desert copper and gold is mined at altitudes ranging between 2,000 m and 4,500 m. Remote sites, mine depths and the unavailability of electricity wanted to drive high capability pumps complicate dewatering. High volumes of water contaminated by minerals can delay drilling and blasting and lead to 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 can 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 particular configuration for sand filters encased in a strain shroud. This gives the shopper flexibility and flexibility as a outcome of the gear is compact, develops excessive pressures and is straightforward to move across the website.
To accommodate increasing flows and discharge stress pumps are configured in series and in parallel particularly for the client’s requirements. Being coupled to diesel engines permits continuous, autonomous operation in places with out electricity for between 12 and 24 hours without refuelling. Vertical Etanorm pumps and cantilever-type UPA pumps put in on a raft enabling them to handle the accumulation of water contained in the mine, eliminating elements such as adverse suction head at excessive altitudes. KSB tools for mine drainage is provided in normal versions, with variations for rafts or well pumps put in in strain jackets. Having viable solutions for dewatering adds value to the shoppers operations and is also essential as a result of each year minerals are found at deeper ranges.
Innovation in Indonesia
Indonesia is doubtless considered one of the world’s largest exporters of thermal coal, and likewise a major participant in copper, gold, tin, bauxite, and nickel. Here KSB pumps are acknowledged for their excellent capability to perform in severe open pit mine sites. Its development of dewatering and dredge pump sets (DnD), as a solution for mining purposes, particularly for open-pit mine sites is one instance of KSB’ dedication to steady product enchancment and growth. To date, more than 260 DnD pumps with GWI® LCC and LSA pumps have been put in in mines across Indonesia and South East Asia. In 2013, KSB Indonesia launched a brand new model, the DnD Cruiser with enhancements requested by customers.
KSB builds the complete diesel pushed pump unit on a barge, full with gasoline tank, vacuum pump, control panel etc, and ships them on trailers for simple commissioning at web site. Because monsoon rains are seasonal dewatering can be a seasonal activity and this implies pumps can stand idle for several months in the course of the dry intervals. Recognising this case, KSB has introduced a rental programme, whereby the pumps are equipped fully-kitted out based on the customer’s necessities. By not having to buy the pump units, prospects are relieved of the prices of possession and know that after they require models they arrive ready for operation.
KSB’s mine dewatering systems enable the secure and environment friendly reducing of groundwater in open pit dewatering, underground drainage and borehole drainage applications. 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 applied sciences that will fit all eventualities. This scenario has come about by way of the cross-fertilisation of concepts, applied sciences and experiences gained over many decades by our companies around the globe, supported by intensive investment in analysis and improvement. Wherever a pumping answer is required, we are able to convey a co-ordinated response to the desk.

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