Dewatering in mining demands durable, reliable and efficient pumps

Water is present everywhere in mining, and its control varies according to its role in the mining processes. This, in turn, influences the selection of technologies used in pumping water. Alongside the safe supply and recovery of process water is the challenge of removing groundwater.

Process water and groundwater contain abrasive and corrosive elements in varying quantities, which have an adverse effect on pump performance and life. Working conditions, remote locations, varying temperature ranges and the lack of electric power are also influential factors.

The copper mines in Chile and the iron ore mines in Western Australia may be many thousands apart, but these mining operations still require dewatering and the safe disposal of potentially contaminated water. The same can be said of the coal mines of Mozambique and the silver mines of Mexico.

What they have in common is a requirement for efficient and effective water and slurry pumps. Well-matched solutions to help maximise the longevity and efficiency of the system while optimising cost-performance ratios – these are all attributes fulfilled by KSB’s hard rock mining division.

The changing face of mining
The search for more rare and precious minerals and metals has opened by mining in countries and locations where previously the industry was small scale or non-existent. Consequently, mining companies and equipment manufacturers have had to develop new techniques and products. And with the mining companies having operations in many global locations, becoming a preferred equipment supplier is essential.

Brett Lewis, mining manager at KSB Australia, said: “The dewatering market is slowly shifting from a pure Capex point of view to an increasingly Opex perspective. This is especially true for the large mines that realise that poorly designed equipment that regularly fails, causes a significant increase in replacement and servicing cost.

“Some mining companies are now committing to a carbon neutral target in the next 20-30 years, so are focusing on high efficiency equipment. They want to phase out diesel reliance by connecting most bores to their local electrical grid.”   

The full article is published on the latest edition of Water & Wastewater Asia Jul/Aug 2021 issue. To continue reading the article, click here.