A Western Australian mining operator has adopted a new method for mine dewatering to replace the burdensome use of a large polypipe. Crusader Hose’s Hamersley layflat hose reeling system has proven to be a suitable upgrade.
Efficiency is key when managing mine sites as they are inherently complex projects.
A large mining company in the Pilbara region of Western Australia was looking for an easier and more efficient method of managing one aspect of its scope of works: dewatering.
Polypipe, although historically a hose of choice, possesses an unforgiving nature of stiffness, which makes its use cumbersome and sometimes challenging.
Crusader Hose, an innovative Australian layflat hose manufacturer with a strong culture of continuous improvement, was asked to assist in finding the solution.
Crusader Hose managing director Francois Steverlynck was engaged in discussions with the miner’s dewatering manager to understand the operation’s challenges.
“The welding of 350-millimetre diameter polypipe and dragging it down and around the pit proves to be a major hassle,” the dewatering manager explains.
As this was an open cut iron ore mine, pipelines were constantly being moved and relocated.
Welding and dragging the large polypipe became a time consuming and inefficient task.
As a result, Steverlynck recommended the Hamersley layflat hose reeling system in account of its low cost and mobility.
The Hamersley reel system uses a hydraulic power from a telehandler to drive a motor that turns the reel.
Each independent reel stands upright and has a capacity of carrying 200 metres of layflat hose and couplings.
As each reel has a hydraulic motor, it is a simple case of attaching two quick-connect hydraulic hoses to the telehandler to commence deployment or recovery of the layflat hose.
The Hammersley reeling system was the right solution for the mining company’s dewatering issue.
The layflat hose was quick and easy to deploy. Almost 2000 metres were connected from various in-pit bores to the poly-ring main.
The telehandler was able to drive along the edge of the track, keeping the hose away from vehicles. There was no problem with bends and curves.
Steverlynck was asked to fly out to the mine site to see the successful system and to hear some improvement suggestions.
“Being a local manufacturer enables us to clearly communicate and incorporate customised design improvements,” Steverlynck explains.
“For example, we added a hydraulic clamping method, which meant that the operator did not need to get out of the telehandler for reel changes.
“We at Crusader Hose understand that there is a strong requirement for polypipe in mining applications, but want to make the industry aware of the benefits that layflat hose can bring, particularly as part of the more flexible dewatering connections.”
This article also appears in the March issue of Australian Mining.