Flooding of open pit mines and quarries has become widespread following intense and unseasonal rainfall in many parts of South Africa recently, demanding added dewatering capacity.
Lee Vine, managing director of dewatering pump specialist Integrated Pump Rental, says the rains have had a dire effect on many mining operations – leading to increased demand for the company’s rental and contract services. Vine highlights that unexpectedly high rainfall events generate large volumes of water that need to be pumped out rapidly.
“Even though many of our customers are on top of their operational requirements, some were unprepared for the huge volumes of groundwater that flowed onto and out of their operations,” he says. “This called for an urgent response, especially in those cases where flooding threatened to disrupt or even halt mine production – as this would severely affect bottom line performance.”
He also emphasizes the safety issues related to excess water in mining operations, adding to the importance of quick and effective solutions. These require not only the input of experts with plenty of experience in assessing dewatering applications, but a service provider with enough units of sufficient capacity to do the job.
“Our large and varied rental fleet has allowed us to assist numerous mining operations with emergency dewatering. We have even augmented our fleet further with new units to ensure we meet the growing need,” he says.
In fact, Integrated Pump Rental has almost tripled the size of its rental fleet since late 2021, adding a range of new diesel-driven pump sets to its population.
“We are well known for responding effectively and without much warning, and much of our success as a dewatering pump specialist is based on having a large enough fleet to always have capacity for the unexpected. The depth of our rental fleet also means that we can cater for varying dewatering application needs,” he says.
The company relies mainly on the well-proven Sykes brand of pumps, which boast a reputation for fast and effective removal of clean water, slimes, sewage, sludge and liquids laden with solids. These diesel driven fully automatic priming pumps can manage lifts of up to 9 metres, and feature an oil bath mechanical seal assembly which allows units to run dry for long periods.