Completed: 2018

Location: Underground Mine Australia

Key Points:

  • High head (528m total dynamic head), high flow (100-150 L/s)
  • “Dirty” hyper saline ground water
  • Large piston diaphragm pump selected
  • Capital cost, schedule and design estimation required

The Brief

IMEC were engaged to complete the prefeasibility design, engineering and costing of a new primary pump station for an existing underground mine.

The client requested that IMEC carry out a technical review of site conditions and provide recommendations on the most suitable pump station design, taking into account the mine’s re-opening schedule and budget constraints with the final prefeasibility design report findings to be used as a basis of the design going forward.

The Challenge

The mine was flooded following mining activities being ceased in 2012 and was required to be dewatered prior to recommencement of operations. The primary pump station served as a key method to assist in the initial dewatering of the mine, as well as serve as the long term primary dewatering system over the life of mine challenging.

Due to the conditions of both high total dynamic head and relatively “dirty” hyper saline ground water, several options were reviewed in order to determine the most efficient configuration of the rising main and pumps which would minimise overall power requirements and system losses.


IMEC recommended the use of a Piston Diaphragm style pump which met all design requirements. IMEC were able to provide value-add to the client by specifying an economical solution that included multiple instances of the same pump for lower spares on site as well as flexibility to move pumps to stations lower in the mine during operations while maintaining redundancy in the overall mine dewatering system. These value-add features increase efficiency and lowered operating costs over the life of the mine.