Rental pump to the rescue at KZN mine during lockdown

27 May 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019188

Disaster Management
Mining & Quarrying
Pumps, Valves, Pipes & Fittings
Water & Effluent Management

INTEGRATED Pump Rental, which has continued as a secondary emergency supplier throughout the lockdown, recently helped to dewater a coal mine in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

“The customer urgently needed fit-for-purpose dewatering equipment to prevent flooding in the open pit,” said Henru Strydom, operations manager at Integrated Pump Rental.

The unexpected failure of one of the mine’s own pumps came at a bad time. The national coronavirus lockdown meant that it would be some time before pump repairs were possible. Some heavy downpours aggravated the situation, demanding that there be no delay in pit dewatering.

Rental pump to the rescue at KZN mine during lockdown

The answer came in the form of a Sykes HH130 high-head diesel-driven pump. The rugged, five- ton unit was delivered by truck and transferred to an on-site trailer for easy mobility. The six-inch pump is capable of pumping at a head of over 140 metres high at a flow of between 80 to 90 litres per second.

“From our experience of the mining sector, we know that water in a coal mine is acidic. The complete pump-end we supplied was, therefore, of stainless steel construction to resist corrosion and ensure reliability and uptime” Strydom said.

Lockdown regulations allowed those coal mines supplying state power producer Eskom to continue their operations during Alert Level 5, even as most business activity came to a standstill. Rainfall across much of the coal-producing province of Mpumalanga raised the risk of flooding and led to Integrated Pump Rental also delivering solutions to a number of its customers there during the lockdown.

Strydom said that in addition to maintaining their vital dewatering activities, mines gain other benefits from renting pumps. There is no large capital outlay, for instance, and running costs can be controlled.

“The renting option means that we handle the maintenance, so that mines can better control their costs. We also ensure the pump’s optimal performance, so that mines don’t risk costly downtime.”

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