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

Water is present in all places in mining and its control varies in accordance with its position in the mining processes. In a current in-depth article by pumps major KSB, the corporate outlines how this in turn influences the choice of technologies utilized in pumping water. “Alongside the protected provide and recovery of course of water is the problem of removing ground water. Process water and groundwater comprise abrasive and corrosive parts in various quantities which have an antagonistic affect on pump efficiency and life. Working conditions, distant places, various temperature ranges and the lack of electric energy are additionally highly influential elements.”
The copper mines in Chile and the iron ore mines in Western Australia could also be many hundreds of miles aside, but these mining operations nonetheless require dewatering and the safe disposal of probably contaminated water. “The similar may be stated of the coal mines of Mozambique and the silver mines of Mexico. What all of them have in widespread is a requirement for environment friendly and effective water and slurry pumps. Well-matched solutions 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 uncommon and treasured minerals and metals has opened up mining in countries and locations the place previously the business was small scale or non-existent. Consequently, mining firms and equipment producers have needed to develop new strategies and products. And with the most important mining companies having operations in plenty of global locations, changing into a most popular equipment supplier is important. “The dewatering market is slowly shifting from a pure CAPEX viewpoint to an increasingly OPEX perspective,” stories Brett Lewis, Mining Manager at KSB Australia. “This is particularly true for the big mines that understand that poorly designed gear that regularly fails, causes a significant enhance in replacement and servicing price. Some mining corporations at the second are committing to a carbon impartial goal within the subsequent 20 to 30 years, so are focussing on excessive efficiency tools. They need to phase out diesel reliance by connecting most bores to their native electrical grid.”
KSB says it’s aware that mining firms are recording pump performance and are accumulating knowledge to check manufacturers and higher rank their qualities or deficiencies. “This is nice news for KSB as the company is committed to delivering high reliability and effectivity pumps, so helping to reduce the carbon footprint of mining dewatering operations.
Is there a ‘one-fits-all’ pump solution?
KSB says the answer to this can be a resounding ‘no’, but “by sharing experiences between places of work and in addition incessantly working with the same worldwide mining companies, KSB has been capable of develop acceptable options. KSB’s involvement within 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 excessive floor water, monsoons and underground lakes are issues. To maintain continuous manufacturing water has to be pumped to a dewatering lake which has a dynamic water stage that have to be raised two or three times a year. 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 level so there isn’t any need for the pumps to be repositioned. This leads to cost-savings to the client. After 20 profitable years it has turn into the standard for this kind of equipment in South America.
“The floating station supporting the pumps over the pontoon delivers the circulate rate requested by the client,” explains Jardel Ribeiro, Sales Manager, KSB Brazil. “Sometimes the pumps, high energy motors and related gear leads to the size of the floating station being elevated. Stabilizing gear that weighs greater than 200 t requires lots of planning, along with the challenge of building a system in such a distant space.”
Boreholes in Australia
In the Pilbara Region of Western Australia iron ore is mined in several areas around the Chichester hub zone, an area between 5 and 9 km broad and eighty km long. The mineral deposit sits between ninety m and 117 m below the surface. With the groundwater and water table regularly replenished in moist seasons and cyclones adding to the inundation, greater than 75% of the iron ore is under the water table. If an excessive quantity of 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 extremely expensive if the water is very excessive.
The accepted dewatering course of inside the area is to pump the water out through boreholes. However, this is not without its challenges. High water temperatures and excessive salinity end in extreme corrosion, while iron micro organism can develop on motors which stop environment friendly motor cooling. The presence of gas is a continuing menace in some areas as this causes fuel lock on the impellers leading to heavy vibrations, which locations a great pressure on the motor, loss of flow fee and motor failure.
This means that commonplace off-the-shelf products aren’t always suitable and the incidence of failures is excessive. Typically, most bore pumps fail inside 12 months, and typically only a few weeks. At its Hope Valley facility in Western Australia, KSB provides mine operators with its UPA multistage borehole pump, customised to withstand web site situations. Although a more expensive product than its competitors, the UPA has been proven to ship a considerably longer working life and reduced prices of possession. KSB’s proprietary technology that inhibits the growth of iron micro organism makes the UPA a winner.
Trailer mounted units
In Africa the surroundings and minerals being mined require progressive approaches to dewatering. In the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to several open cut and underground copper mines rainy 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 stop mining operations from being shut down, a quick localised response is required,” says Rob Bond, Area Manager Mining-Sub-Saharan Africa. “Our solution has been to produce Omega pumps mounted on rough terrain trailers. We provide an entire package deal made up of the pump, engine/motor, couplings, gearbox, hydraulic drives and auxiliary gear including vacuum pump, control panels, screens and so on that delivers excessive head pumping.”
A comparable resolution is also supplied for the open forged Moatize coal mine in Mozambique the place the water levels must stay low for steady manufacturing reliability. Whilst borehole pumps offer good reliability on a constant basis, when the rainy season begins, more assets are in demand KSB SA offers skid-mounted Omega units. To date, KSB SA has provided 152 models and all are working reliably.
While they last
In Mexico’s Zacatecas silver mines underground water is a continuing problem. According to Roberto Valenzuela, Sales Manager Mining KSB Mexico, the water contains stable particles so the excessive stress encapsulated UPA borehole pumps ought to be wear-resistant for long term efficiency. Because the dewatering pumps work at a excessive pace, the impellers and the damage ring can undergo from premature put on. Using Multitec horizontal multistage pumps with KSB’s C6 normal chrome coating, put on is tremendously minimised. “We have had pumps running on this mine for over two years with out the impellers being changed,” says Roberto Valenzuela. “It is an answer that no competitor presents, and provides worth for the customer by way of decreased upkeep, 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 sites, mine depths and the unavailability of electrical energy needed to drive excessive 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 can be moved with the expansion of the open pit,” feedback 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 strain shroud. This gives the shopper flexibility and versatility because the equipment is compact, develops high pressures and is simple to maneuver around the web site.
To accommodate growing flows and discharge stress pumps are configured in series and in parallel specifically for the client’s necessities. Being coupled to diesel engines allows steady, autonomous operation in locations without electrical energy for between 12 and 24 hours with out 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 unfavorable suction head at high altitudes. KSB tools for mine drainage is equipped in commonplace versions, with variations for rafts or well pumps installed in strain jackets. Having viable solutions for dewatering provides worth to the customers operations and can be essential because each year minerals are found at deeper ranges.
Innovation in Indonesia
Indonesia is among the world’s largest exporters of thermal coal, and also a serious participant in copper, gold, tin, bauxite, and nickel. Here KSB pumps are acknowledged for his or her outstanding capability to carry out in extreme open pit mine sites. Its development of dewatering and dredge pump units (DnD), as a solution for mining applications, particularly for open-pit mine websites is one example of KSB’ commitment to continuous product improvement and development. To date, greater than 260 DnD pumps with GWI® LCC and LSA pumps have been put in in mines throughout Indonesia and South East Asia. In 2013, KSB Indonesia launched a new model, the DnD Cruiser with enhancements requested by customers.
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 straightforward commissioning at site. Because monsoon rains are seasonal dewatering can be a seasonal exercise and this implies pumps can stand idle for a number of months in the course of the dry periods. Recognising this example, KSB has introduced a rental programme, whereby the pumps are equipped fully-kitted out based on the customer’s necessities. By not having to purchase the pump sets, clients are relieved of the costs of ownership and know that when they require items they come ready for operation.
KSB’s mine dewatering systems allow the protected and efficient reducing of groundwater in open pit dewatering, underground drainage and borehole drainage purposes. Regardless of a mine’s location, the sort of mining operation being carried out, the geological and the aggressive and corrosive nature of the water, KSB has fluid handling applied sciences that will match all eventualities. This state of affairs has come about via the cross-fertilisation of ideas, applied sciences and experiences gained over many many years by our corporations around the world, supported by intensive funding in research and growth. Wherever a pumping solution is required, we can convey a co-ordinated response to the table.

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