Open-pit mining or open-cast mining is referred to as the mining technique in which the extraction of minerals or rocks is done from open pits instead of making underground tunnels. This technique of mining is applied when mineral deposits are available near the surface of the land. Open-pit mining is also required where tunneling is economically unfeasible to extract the minerals or rocks. These pits are known as “quarries”.
Lowering the water bed for mining or emptying water from the pit during and after the mining finishes is crucial. Certain factors need to be taken care of while opting for a relevant pump which includes water level, contamination in the fluid, length of suction cord, and the pump’s elevation above sea level. Factors like specific gravity, atmospheric temperature also influence the dewatering process.
Handling of Water
Expending management during a mining operation is imperative, therefore, lowering the underground water tables as soon as possible is the center of focus for management. To obtain the maximum output in the least number of hours, a powerful source of dewatering is preferred to get the job done quickly. Hence, dewatering pumps are installed on the site for better handling of pre, during, and post water accumulation in mines and queries.
The cost savings on the mining operations in these cases are substantial. Contrary to the past when the tendency to dewatering the mine was at the bottom end of the priority list until it would cause a serious hurdle to progressing tasks. Budget allocation for dewatering the mining site has got significant importance in contemporary mining strategy.
Choose suitable dewatering pump
On a mining site, you have two options for dewatering the site, diesel engine driven dewatering pumps and Electric-motor driven pumps (although both categories are available in different types, makes, and sizes). As the mining is carried out in remote areas where the availability of electricity mostly depends upon portable power generators. Any failure to the power supply can be disastrous, especially when you have no substitute available on the site. In this case, the choice of diesel-driven dewatering pumps is more feasible and cost-effective. Although, pumping cost does not affect much as compared to the total cost of mining, the performance does matter. Diesel trash pumps are more effective, powerful, robust, and heavy-duty machines.
Every other activity on the mining site begins after the dewatering is done, therefore, the transportation of a single trash pump is preferred as compared to carrying a whole fleet of pumps to the site. The choice limits are even more due to the unbalance surfaces and unpredictable land conditions of the mining site. Diesel trash pumps become the first choice to handle such situations for their compatible structures and durability.
In some cases, the project needs a frequent displacement of the equipment, especially when the digging operations proceed closer to underground water tables. The diesel trash pump is considered more convenient to displace from one position to another over electric pumps. They are better manageable, transportable, and reliable instead of moving fragile extension cords of submersible electric pumps with the increased threat of getting damaged.
Digging deep can make the mine vulnerable to becoming a lake due to under site water table or precipitation. Therefore, water control becomes imperative to contain the pit from water accumulation. Water in a mine puts adverse effects on production and hence increases the mining cost. It also leads to slope depreciation, safety hazards, and increased pollution.
During a long-term-dewatering project, a central source of power supply is required for electric water pumps operations. As the work progresses, the fuel consumption ratio of power generators also increases. Depreciation to the components is obvious due to continuous operations, which increases the number of gallons consumed per day. It makes diesel trash pump a more lucrative alternative for dewatering operations. Furthermore, these pumps have a low noise pitch (as little as 46 Dbs at 10 m).
When it comes to comparing commonly used submersible pumps and diesel-driven pumps in ideal conditions, electrically operated motors are exposed to power loss at many stages inside the circuit, which affects the output of the pump. The length of the power cord is an evident example of energy loss during the operation. Diesel-driven pumps are exempted from these unwelcoming problems and perform full-throttle operations with negligible energy loss.
For open-pit dewatering, diesel-driven pumps are more economical, feasible, and cost-effective. They can be installed within a shorter time frame and can be moved as per the job requirements. Keep in mind that in open-pit mining, groundwater removal is absolutely not a single-time task. Water needs continuous removal from the site as the mining progresses to lower the underground water table.
Diesel-driven pumps are available in a variety of types. Different geographical and climatic factors are involved in choosing the right machine for completing the job smoothly. The most common ones being used for open pit mining are diesel dewatering pumps. These pumps are easy to maintain and rectify on the site. Scheduled maintenance for diesel engines is needed more frequently as per the user’s manual than that is required for the electric motors. Their required maintenance is possible at the site, oil and filter change are absolutely handy and require fewer tools. Bi-annual maintenance requires a critical inspection of the components, but it is also possible at the workplace. The best part of installing diesel dewatering trash pumps is that the latest versions of them can run 3x to 4x beyond the scheduled maintenance period and still have factory warranty claim possible. These properties make diesel machines more compatible with the operational frequency.