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31 May 2023

What is Mine Dewatering? How Does it Work?

We refer to mine dewatering as the removal of water from various mining operations. These could include open-pit mines or underground mines. Dewatering will prevent flooding and is necessary for efficient mining.

Here are Some Challenges Mines Face. Hence the Need for Dewatering.

1. Groundwater Seepage:

Controlling groundwater seepage is probably the biggest hurdle the mining industry faces. Groundwater seepage is often a result of the proximity of a mine and water sources. Or it could result from geological conditions. Groundwater seepage results in extreme water accumulation in mines that affect operations.

2. Limitations of Pumping Operations:

Pumping limitations could occur because of certain challenges. These could include depth and distance of the mine, and the location of pumps. It could also result from pumping equipment limitations. One limitation is pump speed during the removal of mine water.

3. Mining Operations Impact on the Environment:

Dewatering could have a negative impact on the environment. These include the depletion of groundwater, contamination, and sedimentation. Dewatering needs careful management to protect the surrounding communities and the environment.

4. Operating Costs Involved During Dewatering:

Water removal could prove a costly exercise. The reason is dewatering systems need proper infrastructure and the correct equipment. Other costs include the maintenance of dewatering equipment. Installing the perfect pump for the task will save money in the long term.

5. Dewatering and Regulations:

Mining operations often need to adhere to strict government regulations. These could affect mining dewatering operations. These usually include regulations to protect the environment and public health. Compliance and governance could hinder mining operations, posing challenges.

What Equipment Do We Use for Successful Dewatering Outcomes?

Mines use pumps for the removal of water from mining operations. They also use them for water removal from surrounding areas. Mine operators apply drainage systems for the removal of water from the environment. These drainage systems redirect water from mines.

The idea behind mining dewatering is to ensure a safe and dry working environment for all concerned. Dewatering will also prevent equipment damage. Dewatering minimises a negative impact on the environment. An excessive volume of water in a mining operation causes problems. These include erosion, sedimentation, and contamination of nearby water sources. Seepage could affect water quality, affecting human and animal health. Water seepage also affects aquatic water systems.

Mining operations apply a wide range of technologies and techniques for the best possible outcomes. These include surface dewatering, horizontal drainage, and well points. Pump technology will depend on the specific operation, environment, and geological elements.

More Reasons Dewatering Plays an Important Role in Mining

  • Dewatering helps reduce costs of hauling water.
  • The process removes water from final products to enable easier and cheaper transportation.
  • Mining operations need to ensure they don’t remove products during the dewatering process. Losing valuable products during dewatering is a non-viable option and a costly exercise. Hence, the value of proper dewatering using the right equipment.

We Apply Different Pumps for Various Applications.

1. Submersible Pumps

Manufacturers have designed submersible pumps for full immersion in liquids. Liquids could include water and oil or other liquids. We often use submersible pumps in water wells, irrigation systems, and sewerage systems. Other applications are mines and manufacturing.

The typical configuration of a submersible pump includes motor, casing, and an impeller. You will find the sealed motor at the bottom of the pump. This prevents liquids from entering and damaging the motor. Manufacturers attach the impellers to the motor shaft, which rotates. The rotation moves the fluid through the casing to expel the liquids.

Users often choose submersible pumps as their pump of choice over other types. The reason is that submersible pumps are efficient and reliable. They also need little maintenance. Applications are often where traditional above-ground pumps are not suitable.

2. VSS Submersible Pumps

VSS is a brand name. VSS specialises in the manufacturing of top-notch submersible pumps. We use VSS submersible pumps in a wide range of applications. Some of these include agriculture and others include industries and sewerage. Others are for domestic and mining use. VSS submersible pumps operate fully submerged.

They are excellent for transferring liquids from one point to another.
We use VSS submersible pumps for irrigation, wastewater removal, drainage, and water supply. The gas and oil industries use VSS submersible pumps for drilling and extraction.

Attractive Features of VSS Submersible Pumps include:

  • Efficiency
  • Low noise levels
  • Robust construction
  • Reliability

3. VHM Submersible Pumps

We use VHM submersible pumps for submersible applications. These are tanks, wells, boreholes, and dewatering of mines. We use them for residential, agricultural, and industrial applications. VHM submersible pumps are excellent for moving water from one locale to another.

VHM pumps boast a high-quality configuration to withstand harsh conditions. Manufacturers make them from high-grade materials such as stainless steel and cast iron. Their designs are robust, making them efficient and reliable.

They need less energy than other types of pumps to move equal amounts of water. They are also quiet. You can find these pumps in a wide range of sizes and capacities. This makes them suitable for a broad range of applications.

We use VHM submersible pumps to clean contaminated water. They can handle debris and solids present in water.

4. Vertical Submersible Pumps

Vertical spindle pumps are a type of centrifugal pump used in vertical shafts. They rotate the impeller to create a suction to draw fluids into the pump. We use them for industrial applications and mines. Vertical spindle pumps are ideal for transferring liquids with high flow rates and low viscosity. These include chemicals, petroleum products, and water.

You will find the motor of a vertical spindle pump above the pump casing. It has a vertical shaft extending into the casing. The impeller is at the bottom of the shaft and spins at high speed. This action draws fluids into the pump and expels it through the discharge outlet.

Advantages of a vertical spindle pump:

Advantages of a vertical spindle pump are the compact, simple design. With fewer moving parts, it makes for easy maintenance and repair. We do not use vertical submersible pumps where there are high levels of solids and abrasives. The reason is that the particles could damage the impellers and other pump parts.

In some applications, vertical pumps are less efficient than horizontal pumps. This is especially the case when pumping fluids over long distances or at high pressure.

Why Dewatering Is Important in Mining? Find out More About Our Range of Pumps!

While each mine’s idea of dewatering might differ, it is an important aspect of mining. Get the right pump for mining dewatering today. Contact our professional team at AxFlow Liquid Transfer. Find out everything about dewatering and pump applications. We are here to guide you. We understand each mine has a unique configuration.

Get in touch with our AxFlow AQS Liquid Transfer specialists. Find out which pump is best suited to your needs. Contact us on +27 12 548 7204, or fill out our enquiry form. We are here to offer you the best, and most updated information. There is more to dewatering that meets the eye. It is more about controlling the water than removing it.

Sources: Why Dewatering Is Important in the Mining Industry | McLanahan

Do you still have questions? Give our AQS Liquid Transfer team a call on +27 12 548 7204 or fill out our enquiry form, our friendly team will get back to you with first-hand expertise on how to select a borehole pump for your needs.

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