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28 February 2023

What Pumps Do We Use in mining?

Centrifugal pumps are highly efficient pumps used all over the world for a variety of tasks, including pumping water, oils, solvents, acids, bases and other fluids. A motor spins an impeller in the casing of the device that draws in fluids towards the suction eye and then ejects it outward via vanes and, eventually, through the discharge outlet.

Different Pumps Used in Mining. Which Ones are Best?

Not all pumps are equal. This especially applies to the mining sector. What pumps will the end user need? The range is extensive as there are so many applications the mining sector requires. The secret to finding the perfect pump lies in doing research. Extensive homework needs doing before deciding on which one is best for you.

Why It’s Important to Ask the Right Questions for the Best Results

You will need a robust pump to guarantee an efficient job. Your pump supplier should help guide you before, during, and after your selection. In mining, we use a wide range of pumps. The type of pump all depends on the specific application and requirements.

The type of mining operation will determine the pump, or pumps required. We also take the fluid pumped into consideration. Plus, we factor pressure into the equation. What type of mining takes place at the mine? Is the focus on coal, precious stones, precious metals, or sand? A surface mine will need a different pump to an underground mine.

Where is the pump in relation to the mine? Armed with this information and knowledge will help you make the right decision.

What are Dewatering Pumps? What Role do They Play in Mining?

Dewatering pumps are pumps designed to remove water from a specific area. We use dewatering pumps for construction sites, mines, flooded buildings, & water treatment.

Dewatering pumps work by generating enough pressure. This is to move the water to a designated discharge location. We then store the water or dispose of it.

Efficient mine dewatering plays a critical role in successful mining operations. This is regardless of the mining operation. Dewatering pumps guarantee dry working conditions. Dewatering underground mine pumps need to achieve enough pressure. This is to get the water to the surface, usually across many metres.

Dewatering pumps help keep workers and working environments clean and dry.

They help prevent other environmental complications associated with flooding.

They control surface water, groundwater, and mine water. An excess of these could cause complications to any mining project.

Before mining commences, you will need to unpack the local flood risk to find the pump best suited to your needs.

Undersized dewatering pumps could cause flooding and result in the loss of critical equipment. It will also result in loss of production.

A too-large dewatering pump could have an adverse effect on the pump. This could result from too many starts per hour. The motor won’t have enough cooling-off time in-between start-ups. Suction cavitation could also occur when there is a lack of water.

Avoid expensive pump repairs in the long-term. Do this by investing in the right size dewatering pump.

Key Factors When Choosing Dewatering Pumps

Apply these important considerations when selecting a pump for mine dewatering. Insufficient pressure to overcome the vertical distance will cause insufficient flow.

Determining the flow to remove the water to keep the mine dry is important. It is important to know what type of pump is best suited for the application. Is it a submersible pump, a piston diaphragm pump, a vertical spindle pump, or a heavy slurry pump you need?

Common pumps used for mines include:

The type of pump used depends on the specific requirements of the mine and the conditions. Factors such as the flow rate, pressure, and type of water will determine the pump type.

  1. Agitator Submersible Pumps
  2. Vertical Spindle Pumps
  3. Piston Diaphragm Pumps
  4. Heavy Slurry Pumps

Submersible Pumps

Underground Applications & Submersible Pumps

You need to find out if a Mining Safety & Health Association application is required. Your pump application must adhere to the strict criteria for protecting mine workers.
We use submersible pumps in most underground dewatering applications. The reason is they are mobile and enjoy quick lead times from factories. Using a submersible turbine is the most effective method for dewatering. This is so long as the water is free of solids.

How Does a Submersible Pump Work?

An electric submersible pump has a hermetically sealed motor. They seal the motor in an airtight enclosure to protect it from outside elements. This sealing prevents moisture, dust, and contaminants from affecting the motor. They use hermetically sealed motors in controlled internal environments. Examples are mines and aerospace applications.

They submerge the entire pump in a fluid. The biggest advantage is the prevention of pump cavitation. (Pump cavitation is a problem experienced in the difference in high elevation. This happens between the pump and the fluid surface).

Submersible pumps push fluids to the surface, creating a vacuum. They rely on atmospheric pressure to function. Submersible pumps use the pressurised fluid from the surface to drive hydraulic motors. These are instead of an electric motor.

Agitator Submersible Pumps

We use agitator submersible pumps for mixing and circulating liquids. Agitator submersible pumps achieve this by mixing liquids in an agitated manner.

A typical agitator pump comprises a propeller or impeller. They attach this to the end of the pump’s shaft.

The pump is submersible & operates underwater.

We use agitator pumps in industrial and agricultural applications. Typical examples include mixing, blending, and circulating liquids. Pumps equipped with agitators assist in the smooth suction of pumped media.

The side-flow, top-discharge design provides perfect motor cooling. This occurs even during continuous pumping operations in semi-submerged conditions.

Agitator pumps are ideal for transferring water with sand and bentonite slurry. We use agitator pumps for slurry drilling and the draining of slurry contaminated water. This occurs mostly in civil engineering applications.

Vertical Spindle Pumps

They created vertical spindle pumps for submerging in fluids they pump. To avoid damage to the pump, the electrical components are at the top of the pumping shaft. The design enables the removal of liquids without the pumps suffering damage.

Made from stainless steel, vertical spindle pumps are corrosion resistant.They mostly use vertical spindle pumps for transferring corrosive materials like harsh chemicals.

AQS Pumps tailors vertical spindle pumps to the specifications of your mining operation.

Vertical spindle pumps are compact. We apply them to applications with high flow rates and low pressure. Common applications include municipal water treatment plants and sewerage plants. We use them in mining.

How Does a Piston Diaphragm Pump Work?

Piston diaphragm pumps offer the perfect solution for high-pressure applications. We best know them for their energy efficiency.

These pumps present a pulse-free conveying characteristic and have a robust design.

Piston diaphragm pumps use positive displacement and a flexible diaphragm to transfer liquids. The diaphragm creates pressure and suction in the pump’s chamber. This pumps fluids from the inlet to the outlet.

We use piston diaphragm pumps in harsh industrial environments where other pumps are unsuitable. The reason is other pumps are usually incapable of handling abrasive fluids.

What are Slurry Pumps?

We use slurry pumps for handling slurry. Slurry is a mixture of solids and fluids. The pumps transfer slurry across long distances.

Slurry pumps are strong and have a high tolerance against failure. Individual parts are easily replaceable. This is instead of the entire system.

They make top slurry pumps from high chrome materials, which are ideal for heavy duty work. Slurry pumps are strong enough to handle highly abrasive materials.

Alternatively, slurry pumps have rubber liners instead of chrome. The rubber is abrasive resistant.

Find Out Everything About Pumps for Mining

Get the right pump for your mining operation from our AxFlow AQS Liquid Transfer specialists today. Our team at AxFlow Liquid Transfer is here to advise you about the pump best suited to your mining operation.


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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