KSB – open pit dewatering in mining demands durable, dependable and efficient pumps

Water is current in all places in mining and its control varies based on its position in the mining processes. In a current 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 secure supply and restoration of process water is the problem of removing floor water. Process water and groundwater contain abrasive and corrosive parts in varying quantities which have an adverse affect on pump performance and life. Working conditions, distant locations, varying temperature ranges and the lack of electrical energy are additionally highly influential elements.”
The copper mines in Chile and the iron ore mines in Western Australia could additionally be many hundreds of miles aside, but these mining operations nonetheless require dewatering and the secure disposal of doubtless contaminated water. “The identical may be stated of the coal mines of Mozambique and the silver mines of Mexico. What they all have in common is a requirement for efficient and effective water and slurry pumps. Well-matched solutions help 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 altering face of mining
The seek for more uncommon and precious minerals and metals has opened up mining in countries and places where beforehand the industry was small scale or non-existent. Consequently, mining corporations and gear manufacturers have had to develop new strategies and products. And with the most important mining firms having operations in plenty of world locations, changing into a most popular gear supplier is crucial. “The dewatering market is slowly shifting from a pure CAPEX perspective to an increasingly OPEX perspective,” stories Brett Lewis, Mining Manager at KSB Australia. “This is especially true for the large mines that notice that poorly designed tools that frequently fails, causes a significant enhance in alternative and servicing value. Some mining companies are now committing to a carbon impartial goal in the subsequent 20 to 30 years, so are focussing on high effectivity gear. They need to section out diesel reliance by connecting most bores to their native electrical grid.”
KSB says it’s conscious that mining firms are recording pump efficiency and are accumulating information to compare brands and higher rank their qualities or deficiencies. “This is nice news for KSB as the company is dedicated to delivering excessive reliability and effectivity pumps, so serving to to scale back the carbon footprint of mining dewatering operations.
Is there a ‘one-fits-all’ pump solution?
Plain says the reply to it is a resounding ‘no’, however “by sharing experiences between places of work and likewise incessantly working with the same international mining corporations, KSB has been able to develop acceptable options. KSB’s involvement in the iron ore industries in Brazil and Australia demonstrate two different approaches to dewatering, both employing vertical multi-stage pumps.”
In Brazil’s Minas Gerais State open pit iron ore mines extreme floor water, monsoons and underground lakes are problems. To maintain continuous production water has to be pumped to a dewatering lake which has a dynamic water stage that should 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 modifications within the water degree so there isn’t any want for the pumps to be repositioned. This ends in cost-savings to the shopper. After 20 successful years it has turn out to be the usual for this sort of equipment in South America.
“The floating station supporting the pumps over the pontoon delivers the move rate requested by the client,” explains Jardel Ribeiro, Sales Manager, KSB Brazil. “Sometimes the pumps, excessive power motors and related tools results in the scale of the floating station being increased. Stabilizing gear that weighs more than 200 t requires lots of planning, along with the challenge of building a system in such a remote space.”
Boreholes in Australia
In the Pilbara Region of Western Australia iron ore is mined in a number of locations around the Chichester hub zone, an area between 5 and 9 km broad and 80 km lengthy. The mineral deposit sits between 90 m and 117 m under the floor. With the groundwater and water table regularly replenished in wet seasons and cyclones adding to the inundation, greater than 75% of the iron ore is below the water table. If too much water mixes with iron ore, it turns into low grade and unsuitable for export, which ends up in huge revenue 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 via boreholes. However, this isn’t without its challenges. High water temperatures and high salinity lead to extreme corrosion, whilst iron micro organism can grow on motors which stop environment friendly motor cooling. The presence of gasoline is a constant risk in some areas as this causes gas lock on the impellers resulting in heavy vibrations, which locations an excellent pressure on the motor, lack of flow rate and motor failure.
This signifies that commonplace off-the-shelf merchandise aren’t at all times suitable and the incidence of failures is excessive. Typically, most bore pumps fail within 12 months, and sometimes just a few weeks. At its Hope Valley facility in Western Australia, KSB offers mine operators with its UPA multistage borehole pump, customised to face up to site situations. Although a more expensive product than its competitors, the UPA has been shown to ship a considerably longer working life and reduced prices of possession. KSB’s proprietary technology that inhibits the growth of iron bacteria 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, home to several open minimize and underground copper mines wet seasons wreak flooding havoc. Here, KSB is delivering a number of different pumping solutions involving each UPA Z borehole pumps and surface-mounted Omega pumps. “To prevent 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 supply a complete bundle made up of the pump, engine/motor, couplings, gearbox, hydraulic drives and auxiliary equipment together with vacuum pump, control panels, screens and so on that delivers excessive head pumping.”
A similar solution can be supplied for the open cast Moatize coal mine in Mozambique the place the water levels should stay low for steady production reliability. Whilst borehole pumps provide good reliability on a relentless basis, when the rainy season starts, extra assets are in demand KSB SA provides skid-mounted Omega units. To date, KSB SA has provided 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 stress encapsulated UPA borehole pumps must be wear-resistant for long run effectivity. Because the dewatering pumps work at a high pace, the impellers and the wear and tear ring can suffer from premature wear. Using Multitec horizontal multistage pumps with KSB’s C6 standard chrome coating, wear is significantly minimised. “We have had pumps operating in this mine for over two years without the impellers being modified,” says Roberto Valenzuela. “It is an answer that no competitor provides, and adds worth for the shopper by way of decreased maintenance, spare parts and higher mining uptime.”
In Chile’s Atacama Desert copper and gold is mined at altitudes ranging between 2,000 m and 4,500 m. Remote websites, mine depths and the unavailability of electrical energy wanted to drive high capacity 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, pushed by diesel motors.
“Our clients require high-pressure pumps in a modular configuration that can be moved with the expansion 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 client flexibility and versatility because the gear is compact, develops excessive pressures and is easy to maneuver around the website.
To accommodate growing flows and discharge stress pumps are configured in sequence and in parallel specifically for the client’s requirements. Being coupled to diesel engines permits steady, autonomous operation in places without 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 handle the buildup of water contained in the mine, eliminating components corresponding to negative suction head at excessive altitudes. KSB equipment for mine drainage is provided in commonplace versions, with variations for rafts or properly pumps put in in stress jackets. Having viable options for dewatering adds worth to the purchasers operations and can additionally be essential as a outcome of each year minerals are found at deeper levels.
Innovation in Indonesia
Indonesia is doubtless certainly one of the world’s largest exporters of thermal coal, and likewise a serious player in copper, gold, tin, bauxite, and nickel. Here KSB pumps are acknowledged for their excellent capability to carry out in severe open pit mine websites. Its growth of dewatering and dredge pump sets (DnD), as an answer for mining functions, particularly for open-pit mine sites is one example of KSB’ dedication to steady product enchancment and development. To date, greater 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 model, the DnD Cruiser with enhancements requested by prospects.
KSB builds the whole diesel pushed pump unit on a barge, full with gas tank, vacuum pump, management panel etc, and ships them on trailers for easy 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 during the dry durations. Recognising this case, KSB has introduced a rental programme, whereby the pumps are supplied fully-kitted out based on the customer’s requirements. By not having to purchase the pump units, clients are relieved of the prices of ownership and know that when they require items they arrive prepared for operation.
KSB’s mine dewatering systems allow the safe and environment friendly lowering 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 technologies that can fit all eventualities. This scenario has come about through the cross-fertilisation of concepts, applied sciences and experiences gained over many decades by our companies around the globe, supported by extensive funding in analysis and improvement. Wherever a pumping resolution is required, we will bring a co-ordinated response to the desk.

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