Grundfos plays a key dewatering role in Outback mine
Bootu Creek manganese ore mine, 110 kilometres north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, is being assisted by a dozen highly efficient Grundfos SP submersible bore hole pumps ranging from the SP77-8 down to the SP14A.
The massive open cut mining operation, owned by OM Manganese Limited, comprises some eight pits extending over a distance of some 10 kilometres and employs more than 200 people.
Yet the stark country in which the mine operates belies the amount of groundwater that lies beneath the surface and hinders the mining.
The Grundfos Solution
Over the past two years, OM Manganese has installed about a dozen Grundfos SP submersible bore hole pumps as part of an ongoing dewatering program enabling the mining to continue producing high grade ore.
The latest three pumps were provided by Grundfos Dealer H2O Centre Pty Ltd, which also provided two CR pumps that are used for wash-down processes. Bootu Creek installed all five pumps itself.
Joe Bosso, OM Manganese’s Bootu Creek Maintenance Manager, says the Grundfos SP pumps do an outstanding job.
“The three SP pumps are sunk relatively deeply, and are some 10 kilometres from the mining site,” he says.
“The three SP’s pump the water back to the mine through poly piping where it is used in the mining process. No water is wasted.
“The latest two pumps from H2O are between 70 and 95 metres in depth, with the SP46-12 pumping out 39.6 cubic metres per hour and the two SP14As each removing 5.4 cubic metres per hour.
“They operate in a tough environment,” he says. “It’s a job for pumps that are able to handle working in torrid conditions.”
The pumps are remotely controlled using M4F(SP) controllers, and have been working for two years. They are periodically moved to different bore holes when one site runs dry.
“We have always used the Grundfos SP submersible pumps,” says Mr. Bosso. “Their performance is equal to any and they really do the job. They are reliable and robust and we have the utmost faith in them.”
Bootu Creek is currently trucking more than 700,000 tonnes a year of high-grade manganese ore 60 kilometres by road to Muckaty rail siding where it is loaded into wagons for a 822 kilometre trip to the port of Darwin for export.
This year’s extensive exploration program commenced with an initial A$10 million budget to further extend the mine life and reinforce the operation's potential as a world-class, long-life asset. And Grundfos is pleased to be playing its part.