Pumps for iron ore mine flooding

12th May 2023

Pump and dredging specialist Integrated Pump Rental (IPR) was commissioned to assist with an incident of flooding at an iron-ore mine in the Northern Cape that resulted in the mining company no longer having access to the floor of one of its pits.

IPR rental development manager Ruaan Venter says the solution employed started with a dewatering plan, which was “vital”, as the mine had experienced challenges with groundwater ingress.

However, he notes that the whole groundwater table around the mine has to be lowered, so that the pit is not continually filled with incoming water.

Venter explains that IPR’s eight years of experience in designing and manufacturing dewatering systems has given it a depth of insight into efficient and reliable groundwater control.

“We identified that the primary issue was the application of incorrect dewatering pumps,” he says.

IPR implemented a programme to assess, and then repair, the existing pumps on site, bringing them up to original equipment manufacturer specification so that they would perform reliably and deliver the expected results.

In line with the dewatering plan, the mine’s own fleet of pumps was supplemented by a custom offering from IPR. This involved some units being purchased outright from IPR, and other pumps taken on a long-term rental agreement.

“Our rental programme is offered in recognition of this to relieve customers of the cost of owning equipment that is not optimally utilised,” says Venter. Instead, he says IPR supplies pump sets that are fully kitted according to the customer’s requirements, and are ready for operation.

“This service delivers high head pumping where the water levels must remain low for continuous production reliability,” Venter concludes.