WEDA Submersible Pumps Ensure the Viability of Operations in an Open Pit Gold Mine

24.04.2023
Power Systems Incorporated (PSI) Deutz Division, Atlas Copco’s exclusive distributor for WEDA electric submersible pumps in the Philippines, has delivered two units of the recently launched WEDA D95 and six of WEDA D50N to a big player in the national mining industry.
WEDA Submersible Pumps Ensure the Viability of Operations in an Open Pit Gold Mine

Atlas Copco WEDA submersible pumps ensure the viability of operations in an open pit gold mine in the Philippines. (Image source: Atlas Copco)

These robust and reliable pumps are working at an open pit gold mine in Surigao del Norte, in the island province of Caraga, Philippines, enabling the diversion of ground and runoff water.

With a long-standing relationship with Power Systems Incorporated, the international mining corporation is a gold producer with a relevant focus on the environment and social responsibility. Their premises in the Philippines comprise a large open-pit gold mine and a processing plant that enables the effective extraction of the ore. However, located in one of the wettest regions of the Southeast Asian archipelagic country, excessive rainfall poses a significant challenge for mining activities. And that makes dewatering operations essential to achieve safe production with a sustained and sustainable economic impact.

Excessive rainfall hinders mining operations
Nestled at almost 262 meters (860 feet) above sea level, Surigao del Norte boasts a tropical rainforest climate. With an average annual temperature of around 28ºC (83ºF)- slightly higher than the Philippine average this region is a tropical paradise. Surigao del Norte is also known for its abundant rainfall, receiving around 2,953 millimeters (116 inches) of precipitation and experiencing almost 212 days of rain annually.

Especially in the rainy season, from June to November, the climate conditions can hinder the smooth development of activities, negatively impacting production. Trapping and removing runoff and groundwater from the mining site is crucial for the mining operations to ensure a safe and economically viable outcome. If left unchecked, excess water can accumulate in the mine, leading to safety hazards such as flooding, slope instability, and rockfalls. It can also contaminate the surrounding ecosystem, causing severe environmental damage. To avoid this, mining companies employ different water management strategies, such as constructing retention basins, diversion ditches, and pumping stations to capture and redirect water from the mining area.

WEDA D95 up for the challenge
Several WEDA D95 electric submersible pumps have been carrying out the crucial task of dewatering operations at the gold mine. These pumps are designed for demanding and rough applications and can deliver long-lasting performance, even under extreme conditions. The WEDA’s advanced technology is specifically engineered to reduce wear and deliver consistent performance over an extended operating life. The pump features a high chrome wear-resistant impeller and solid-redirecting auxiliary vanes, contributing to its exceptional performance. With high-wear resistance, they have been effectively employed for the interception and diversion of ground and runoff water before it enters the mining pit. By utilizing next-generation pumps, the mining corporation benefits from the safe and orderly extraction of ore.

According to Alfredo Salvador, Sales Manager at PSI, “the Wear Deflector Technology is a remarkable feature of the WEDA D95. The pump’s life is longer thanks to its innovative hydraulics, which can be re-adjusted to compensate for any wear. This feature has been crucial in choosing the WEDA D95 for this challenge.”

Aftersales support in the region
From the approach adopted by the end customer for this dewatering job, the technical benefits - the pump’s hydraulic performance, repairable mechanical seal, motor cooling capabilities, and improved corrosion resistance - have played a significant part in tipping the scales; however, product availability and aftermarket support have had even greater weight.

“Meeting the required duty point combined with product availability and subsequent support have been the key drivers,” states Duncan Price, Business Development Manager Dewatering Pumps at Atlas Copco. “Power Systems Incorporated’s presence in the region, and their great technical and aftersales support as our partner, has ensured successful installation, empowering the end customer, who now benefits from reliable production.”

“Due to the ex-stock availability of the products, the technical expertise, and the hands-on attitude provided by our National Exclusive Distributor, Power Systems Inc., the customer had no hesitation in trying the untested WEDA D95H, a line unheard of in the Philippines mining industry before 2022. It demonstrates the huge advantages of partnering with a well-respected and professional company capable of providing the level of expertise and support demanded by the mining industry when it comes to the inevitable task of dewatering.” — Duncan Price, Business Development Manager Dewatering Pumps at Atlas Copco

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