Flooding of openpit mines and quarries has become widespread following intense and unseasonal rainfall in many parts of South Africa, demanding added dewatering capacity.
Dewatering pumps specialist Integrated Pump Rental MD Lee Vine says that the rains have had a dire effect on many mining operations – leading to increased demand for the company’s rental and contract services.
Vine highlights that unexpectedly high rainfall events generate large volumes of water that need to be pumped out rapidly.
“Even though many of our customers are on top of their operational requirements, some were unprepared for the huge volumes of groundwater that flowed onto and out of their operations,” he says.
“This called for an urgent response, especially in those cases where flooding threatened to disrupt or even halt mine production – as this would severely affect bottom line performance.”
Integrated Pump Rental has almost tripled the size of its rental fleet since late 2021, adding a range of new diesel-driven pump sets to its fleet.
“We are well known for responding effectively and without much warning, and much of our success as a dewatering pumps specialist is based on having a large enough fleet to always have capacity for the unexpected,” Vine says.
“The depth of our rental fleet also means that we can cater for varying dewatering application needs.”
Vine also emphasises the safety issues related to excess water in mining operations, compounding the importance of quick and effective solutions. These require not only the input of experts with plenty of experience in assessing dewatering applications, but a service provider with enough units of sufficient capacity to do the job.
“Our large and varied rental fleet has allowed us to assist numerous mining operations with emergency dewatering. We have even augmented our fleet, with new units to ensure we meet the growing need,” he says.
The company relies mainly on the well-proven Sykes brand of pumps, which boast a reputation for fast and effective removal of clean water, slimes, sewage, sludge and liquids laden with solids. These diesel-driven fully automatic priming pumps can manage lifts of up to nine metres, and feature an oil bath mechanical seal assembly which allows units to run dry for long periods.