South Africa-based Integrated Pump Rental has recently come to the rescue of a coal mine in KwaZulu-Natal, providing fit-for-purpose dewatering equipment to prevent flooding in the open pit.
The unexpected failure of one of the mine’s own pumps came at a bad time. The national COVID-19 lockdown meant it would be some time before pump repairs were possible. Some heavy downpours aggravated the situation, demanding there be no delay in pit dewatering, Integrated Pump Rental said.
The answer came in the form of a Sykes HH130 high-head diesel-driven pump. The rugged, 5 t unit was promptly delivered to site by truck, and transferred to an on-site trailer for easy mobility. The 6 in pump is capable of pumping at a head of over 140 m high at a flow of between 80-90 litres per second, according to the company.
Henru Strydom, Operations Manager at Integrated Pump Rental, said: “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.”
Lockdown regulations allowed those coal mines supplying to state power producer Eskom to continue 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 several customers there during the lockdown, it said.
Strydom emphasises 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,” he says. “We also ensure the pump’s optimal performance, so that mines don’t risk costly downtime.”