The changing face of mining
The search for rarer and precious 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 equipment manufacturers have had to develop new techniques and products. And with the major mining companies having operations in many global locations, becoming a preferred equipment supplier is essential.
“The dewatering market is slowly shifting from a pure CAPEX point of view to an increasingly OPEX perspective,” reports Brett Lewis, Mining Manager at KSB Australia. “This is especially true for the large mines that realize 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 to 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.”
KSB is aware that mining companies are recording pump performance and are accumulating data to compare brands and better rank their qualities or deficiencies. This is good news for KSB as the company is committed to delivering high reliability and efficiency pumps, so helping to reduce the carbon footprint of mining dewatering operations.
Is there a ‘one-fits-all’ pump solution?
The answer to this is a resounding ‘no’, but by sharing experiences between offices and also frequently working with the same international mining companies, KSB has been able to develop appropriate solutions. 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 excessive ground 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 level that must 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 changes in the water level so there is no need for the pumps to be repositioned. This results in cost-savings to the customer. After 20 successful years it has become the standard for this type of equipment 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, high power motors and associated equipment results in the size of the floating station being increased. Stabilizing equipment that weighs more than 200 tons requires a lot of planning, in addition to the challenge of building a system in such a remote area.”
We have what you need
KSB’s mine dewatering systems enable the safe and efficient lowering of groundwater in open pit dewatering, underground drainage and borehole drainage applications. Regardless of a mine’s location, the type of mining operation being carried out, the geological and the aggressive and corrosive nature of the water, KSB has fluid handling technologies that will fit all eventualities. This situation has come about through the cross-fertilization of ideas, technologies and experiences gained over many decades by our companies around the world, supported by extensive investment in research and development. Wherever a pumping solution is required, we can bring a coordinated response to the table.
Stay tuned for our upcoming article: Mining all over the world – a tour with KSB, for more examples of KSB’s creative mining solutions being used worldwide.