Using dewatering systems to improve site efficiency

by PNG Business News - August 23, 2021

Photo: Multiflo® mega barges on site in Brazil

Dewatering is critical to a mine’s operations and more resources are being allocated to its optimisation. Traditionally, there’s been a tendency among some mine and quarry operations to view dewatering as something to be avoided at all costs – until it can’t be. Therefore, cost minimisation has been the primary focus when it comes to implementing a dewatering or fluid management solution. However, with dewatering becoming increasingly necessary, operators are approaching these challenges in more sophisticated and methodical ways.

The trends informing dewatering practices mirror many of those that are observable across all mining processes: a focus on sustainability and the efficient use of energy and other resources; customised, holistic solutions based on each sites unique geological and climatic conditions; and the emergence of new technologies, with a particular focus on real-time monitoring.

Dewatering solutions that are carefully designed and implemented have the potential to reduce energy usage, CO2 emissions and significantly lower OPEX over the life of the mine. The overall efficiency is affected by individual elements, but also by how these elements interact and operate with one another.

The renewed focus on pumping efficiency requires a significant shift in how many operators have previously approached dewatering and fluid management on site. Because most dewatering programs have been designed with the singular focus of lowering groundwater levels as quickly as possible, they often have excess pumping capacity and oversized pipes and pumps operating at only a fraction of their capacity – a process that’s inherently inefficient. This needs to change to accommodate the increased focus on efficient use of energy and water, which is critical to maintaining a social licence to operate.

Multiflo® MF pump unit on site in Indonesia

Improving pump efficiency begins with effective monitoring. There have been enormous improvements in electronic control and communication systems in the last few decades. Real time reporting and control of pumping systems can now be an economic reality for almost any mine site. The more visibility you have over your fluid management on site – flow rates, operating pressures, groundwater level, water quality, system relocations, alternate drive solutions, equipment selections to reduce maintenance and repair cycles, etc. – the better placed you will be to install the most appropriate equipment. The industry is moving towards customised solutions and there’s a growing awareness that no two sites are the same, which means a one-size-fits-all approach to dewatering is neither cost effective nor sustainable.

Weir Minerals has a global team of dewatering experts who partner with mine operators to assess their specific requirements and provide integrated solutions. With a long and proud history of innovative engineering, Weir Minerals has a team of process and design engineers armed with the latest technology, specific process knowledge and site experience to optimise your dewatering management processes. We take advantage of our global capabilities and engineering skills to provide our customers with the best solution as quickly as possible.

With an extensive global network and the ability to service on-site or at one of our 130 dedicated service centres, we are always there when you need us - no matter how remote your operation is.



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PNG Business News - May 11, 2021

New Report Identifies Major Carbon Reduction Opportunities in Global Mining

  New analysis lays out the scale of the mining industry’s energy use and identifies ways it can be reduced using currently available technologies Materials such as copper, lithium and nickel play an essential role in the technologies like electric vehicles and renewables that will help the world meet its decarbonisation targets As demand for these metals increases, the mining industry must itself become more efficient and environmentally sustainable     The global mining industry must move away from legacy systems and processes if it is to meet the challenge of decarbonisation, according to a new report released today which calculates mining’s share of global energy consumption and identifies ways the industry can aid the transition to net zero emissions needed to limit temperatures in line with the Paris Agreement. The report, commissioned by the Weir Group plc, analyses mine energy data from over 40 published studies to give a comprehensive understanding of where energy is consumed in mining and minerals processing. It shows that the total amount of power used by the mining industry – which plays an essential role providing the metals used at the heart of the modern economy – is equal to c.3.5% of global energy use. The metals produced by mining are critical for enabling the global transition to low-carbon infrastructure. But without action, energy use in mining itself is set to trend higher in the coming years as demand increases for metals like copper, nickel and zinc. The report suggests there are technologies available today that could make a significant difference to this trend.  For example, it highlights that comminution – i.e. crushing and grinding processes – is the single biggest user of energy at mine sites, typically accounting for 25% of mining’s final energy consumption. This is equivalent to the power used by 221 million typical UK homes, or c.1% of total consumption globally. Comminution is therefore a natural target for the most impactful energy savings opportunities. Small improvements in comminution technologies can lead to relatively large savings in both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, a 5% incremental improvement in energy efficiency across comminution could result in greenhouse gas emissions reductions of more than 30m tonnes of CO2-e. The replacement of traditional comminution equipment with new grinding technology also reduces indirect emissions in the mining value chain, for example by removing the need for the manufacture of emission-intensive steel grinding balls. Of the remaining energy consumption by the mining industry, diesel in varied forms of mobile equipment accounts for 46%, electricity in mining (ventilation) 15% and “other electricity” 14%. Other significant opportunities identified by the report for reducing mining’s energy consumption include optimisation, big data and artificial intelligence. In addition, if zero emissions energy sources are deployed for mining equipment – e.g., renewable energy, energy storage and alternative fuels – then the industry may well be able to achieve zero emissions, leaving a relatively small role for offsets and carbon credits to play. The report comes as the mining industry is under ever-greater pressure to produce essential minerals that support some of the biggest global structural trends, from population growth to urbanisation and decarbonisation. Copper, nickel, steel and lithium are core components of electricity transmission and storage, electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure. The move to a decarbonised economy will result in increased primary consumption of these mined commodities, even after factoring for recycling, so it is important that mining itself becomes more sustainable. Download the independent Mining Energy Consumption 2021 report here: www.energysavingsinmining.com Commenting, Weir Group Chief Executive Jon Stanton said: “The mining industry is central to economic development globally, with critical minerals enabling the low-carbon transition required in the rest of the economy. But the environment in which it will operate in future will be very different from the past, requiring comprehensive change and investment. 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Bringing together mine energy use data from more than 40 published studies (each of which references dozens more studies) from 2007 to 2020 into a single narrative, the report aims to build a more comprehensive understanding of energy use in the mining industry. Using the current production rates of the commodities in question, and the energy intensities for each of the commodities, a total of 1,68 EJ/a (1,680,000,000,000,000,000 joules per year) has been calculated. This is approximately 0.5% of total final energy consumption globally. Published information indicates that the entire mining industry consumes approximately 12 EJ per year – or 3.5% of total final energy consumption globally. Assuming that present trends continue, there will be 250m electric vehicles on the road by 2030. To meet this demand, production of cobalt, lithium, graphite and nickel will need to be scaled up significantly. 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PNG Business News - May 24, 2021

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PNG Business News - July 01, 2021

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PNG Business News - September 16, 2021

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PNG Business News - September 15, 2021

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PNG Business News - September 15, 2021

STAKEHOLDERS VIEWS CRITICAL FOR BETTER RESOURCE GOVERNANCE: ALKAN

Head of the PNGEITI Mr Lucas Alkan last week in Wabag at the opening of the consultation. The Head of the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Mr. Lucas Alkan has issued a strong challenge to stakeholders in the extractive industries to embrace and promote the work of EITI in Papua New Guinea to derive best value from the industry. Mr. Alkan spoke of this last week in Wabag when he opened the upper highlands regional consultation on a proposed law to transition the PNGEITI into a statutory authority.  “PNG EITI is a government driven initiative to promote transparency and accountability in the PNG mining and petroleum space which has been driving the PNG economy for a sustained period of time. “But there is this misconception about proceeds from mining and petroleum activities not being translated well into development on the ground and this sentiment is shared by many at both the provincial and national level. “What PNGEITI is doing is to shed light on the leakages on revenues and proceeds from the mining and petroleum activities with the ultimate aim of improving governance in the mining and petroleum sectors using international best practice standards to see the desired development outcome from this important sector. “Seven years into PNGEITI implementation in PNG, we’ve now seen the need to make the PNGEITI administrative body, the PNGEITI into a statutory body to see more improvement in the EITI reports to enhance good governance in the sector to derive the best development outcome.   “We’ve covered two regions; the New Guinea Islands and Momase regions and we are now conducting consultations in Enga and Eastern Highalnds to cover the big highlands region. “I encourage the best knowledge and views from all stakeholders from the stakeholders in these consultations so that we give birth to a law that truly reflects the genuine views of all stakeholders for better development outcomes. A State Technical working group comprising the Department of Petroleum, State Solicitor, Internal Revenue Commission, Department of Personnel Management, Department of Treasury, the National Economic Fiscal Commission and Department of Finance were in the Enga capital, Wabag for a four days consultation for the Upper Highlands region” “PNGEITI has been in operations since 2014 effected by a NEC decision and now we are moving into the next step in anchoring this extractive industry reporting process into PNG’s legal and administrative system. PNGEITI published 7 reports detailing activities taking placing inn the PNG mining and petroleum space,” Mr. Alkan said.   Article Courtesy of PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

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