Heavy rains in recent months have caused the water table to rise, which, in turn, has resulted in “unparalleled issues” for openpit and underground mining operations, with the ingress of water affecting production, explains specialist pump rental organisation Integrated Pump Rental development manager Andre Strydom.
The company, which is known for its quick response in dealing with dewatering challenges, notes that, if an operation is unable to implement a reliable dewatering solution timeously, this can cause numerous challenges that can increase the client’s total operating costs.
“This includes unplanned downtime with those associated costs, as well as the challenges and risks of mining when the face and surrounding environment is under water. Such unscheduled stoppages could mean the operation will fall behind schedule and its production targets,” he adds.
A recent example that demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of Integrated Pump Rental’s products is the deployment of a second Sykes diesel-driven pump set to a mine in the Northern Cape.
The first pump was delivered on January 2, 2021, to ensure that the customer could implement a quick and effective solution for its flooded pit, says Strydom.
The second Sykes XH150 dewatering pump was required to dewater the other pit area because large amounts of rain had caused flooding in the two main pit areas of the mine. The pump was delivered on February 26, 2021.
The pump set has a 180 m shutoff head and the duty required in this application is a total dynamic head of 140 m, including friction losses within the pipeline. The flow rate being achieved is 120 ℓ/s over 2.5 km.
Strydom explains that, as mines and quarries go deeper, these operations need access to a pump set such as the Sykes Xtra high-head automated-priming solids handling pump which is designed to dewater more efficiently and effectively. It boasts one of the best shaft stiffness ratios of any automatic priming pump on the market, and has the reliability to meet market expectations.
Product engineers have ensured that the enormous pressures and heads do not compromise the integrity of the seal through shaft flexing, he adds.
Strydom says the Sykes Xtra high-head pumps range caters to the demands of the global mining industry and all models have the ability to operate unattended at high discharge heads.
The Importance of Reliability
There are many issues that can arise from unreliable dewatering solutions which, in turn, result in ballooning operating costs, says Strydom.
He cites a recent challenge that Integrated Pump Rental mitigated successfully within the petrochemicals sector.
“An underground pipeline burst contaminating the process water for the customer’s process plant and we had to reroute this water supply to ensure that the plant could continue operating,” Strydom explains. This necessitated the deployment of ten diesel-driven Sykes dewatering pump sets to the site. With the pumps working in parallel some 4 000 m3 an hour was pumped to keep the operation going. This temporary two-week solution, which was rapidly deployed to site, allowed the customer to repair the underground pipeline.
Aside from production losses, when pumping equipment is not properly maintained this can lead to inefficiencies with increased operational costs, according to Strydom.
He explains that maintaining pumping equipment is essential and the com- pany takes on the responsibility for all its rental pump sets to ensure uninterrupted pumping and optimum performance is achieved.
Integrated Pump Rental can offer quick and easy access to a comprehensive fleet of rental pumps solutions, and is renowned for its quick response and rapid deployment of equipment and solutions.
“We strive to provide a service faster than our peers, and we are dedicated to providing the best service and equipment for all our customers – new and old.”
With services running 24 hours a day, the company prides itself on client satisfaction, with a dedicated team that selects the best fit for any pumping requirement.
“At Integrated Pump Rental, we take pride in our work, as well as our fleet of quality dewatering pumps and accessories,” he concludes.