Each site’s dewatering requirements vary and present unique challenges, with environmental and geological considerations, as well as local climatic variations.
Differences in weather conditions and environmental changes can have a significant effect on an operation. From the outback of Australia where water is scarce, the recovery of water is desperately required compared to the tropical climates of Brazil, where open pits rapidly fill with water, or sub-zero (–50°C) Arctic operations in northern Canada that operate year round – they all require effective water management systems. Every site, in every country, experiences varying issues with water management and requires a strong partner to support them, whatever the issue.
There are also a number of factors affecting the dewatering system, from the permeability and porosity of the ground, the amount of surface water, and geological features such as seasonal rainfall, which must all be assessed and factored into a detailed dewatering system before work can begin. The dewatering system put in place must be able to cope with this to provide a safe solution and minimise production delays.
The composition of water being moved has a notable impact on the equipment and materials used. The pH range, temperature, corrosive and abrasive content all play a critical role in selecting the equipment to transport water effectively. The presence of solids in the water, the specific gravity, size distribution and content percentage will determine the type of pumps required.
Equally, the pipework and valves are also subject to corrosion and abrasion from the products handled and must be designed accordingly.
For every dewatering project, it’s important the service provider understands the environment before developing the strategy, to deliver the optimal solution. The pitfalls of over or undersized equipment include excessive energy use, high cost investment and maintenance and also risk to equipment and personnel, as well as lost production in the case of insufficient capacity.
Waste not, want not
With depleting ore grades around the world, there is an emphasis on turning waste into energy, and the dewatering process is no different. Reclaiming process water for reuse is an increasing demand from operators as it can help overcome the issue of water scarcity, and ensure the operation is gaining maximum use of its resources.
Deal with the best
It is essential that the site dewatering project is planned and implemented professionally, in order to avoid construction delays, potential structural instability and water quality compliance breaches.
Verde Environmental Consultants project managing the entire dewatering solution, utilising products from our extensive dewatering range. This involves a thorough assessment of the requirements of the site, including a site plan, operating depths, and existing infrastructure, as well as required water in-flow.
Verde use expertise in both process and products to maximize efficiency and help operators take control of their water.
Visit our Dewatering page for more information.