Mine Tailings Pump Applications

The mining industry incorporates various pumps in many applications to move slurries, mine tailings, and liquids from one part of the mine to another. Learn why the EDDY Pump is the top choice for mine pump applications.
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Typical Mining Pump Applications:

mine tailings pump applications

  • Mine Pits
  • Tailings Ponds
  • Poly-Lined Tailings Ponds
  • Mineral Recovery
  • Mine Dewatering
  • Mine Sumps
  • Process Pumps
  • Mining (Pumping Target Material)
  • Froth Flotation

Mine Pumping Problems & The EDDY Pump Solution

Mining incorporates various pumps in many applications to move slurries and liquids from one part of the mine to another. Conventional centrifugal pumps quickly destroyed and lose their tolerances and suction capabilities. On the other hand, positive displacement pumps are costly to maintain and have limited pumping capabilities.

Some of the main pumping issues in the Mine industry are lined and unlined tailings ponds, underground slurry and dewatering pumping, sumps, process pumps, and pumping the target mineral laden material.

 Tailings ponds are a necessary feature of all mining operations to store the residual byproduct of mineral extraction.   If the ponds hit capacity, new tailings ponds need to be built or old tailings ponds need to be cleaned out. The tailings often have very low or high pH which causes a lot of difficulty for centrifugal and positive displacement pumps. The acidic and alkaline tailings wear out the impellers on centrifugal pumps which cause the pumps to lose tolerance and hence suction capabilities. The same occurs with positive displacement pumps and both lead to costly downtime and expensive spare parts. The same wearing of parts also occurs due to the abrasive nature of the tailings slurry.

The EDDY Pump design does not consist of close tolerances between the rotor and volute. This allows the EDDY Pump to pump low and high pH abrasive slurries without being worn down and losing suction. This, in turn, saves the client a significant amount of money in spare parts and to not experience costly downtime.

For tailings ponds that are designed with plastic liners, a more surgical approach needs to be taken for sediment removal. Conventional dredging equipment used to remove the tailings cannot be used in this situation because of the damage that it could potentially cause to the liner. EDDY Pump instead has designed a whole series of dredging equipment that is liner-safe and will not harm or disturb the liner.

Sumps in the mining industry collect lots of residual mining material, debris, and liquids.  These sumps pose a constant problem to keep them cleaned out so that production can continue.  The material that accumulates in the sumps causes constant problems for sumps pumps. Debris constantly clogs centrifugal sump pumps and the abrasive and corrosive slurries destroy the impellers and cause constant pump part replacement.

The EDDY Pump, on the other hand, can be deployed in various pump configurations to cleanout mining sumps without causing significant downtime and costly repairs.  The EDDY Pump sump pump can be deployed electrically or hydraulically and either submersible or self-priming.  The pump casing can be made from any material and is often cast out of high chrome or stainless steel for sump pump applications. The EDDY Pump non-clogging design easily passes any piece of material or debris without clogging.  Also, based on the EDDY Pump design not having an impeller, there is no issue with wearing down and losing tolerance.  This results in a pump that is significantly less expensive to maintain.

In Underground Mining operations, the process of dewatering and pumping slurries are a fundamental component to a successful mining operation.  There is little space to maneuver and deploy heavy and complicated pumping systems.  Conventional centrifugal pumps will work okay for moving water, but when any slurry gets in the pump, it causes blockages and pump failures.

EDDY Pump Corporation has designed a variety of pumps and dredging equipment to work in underground mining.  EDDY Pump has electric and hydraulic submersible pumps along with the ability to build hydraulic power units and electrical power units.  These systems can be scaled down to meet the smallest and lightest sizes to be easily deployable while still being able to pump slurries with a high percentage of solids.  EDDY Pump also has trailer mounted self-priming pumps that can easily move from space to space with a limited size envelope and weight.  Finally, EDDY Pump also has remotely operated dredges that can move easily and run without the need for a lot of manpower.

Moving slurries and material is fundamental in mining operations.  Therefore, there are hundreds if not thousands of Process Pumps and conveyors in a mining operation. The corrosive and abrasive pumping of mine slurry causes many issues for centrifugal and positive displacement pumps.  This is not the issue with the EDDY Pump due to its design.  Mines are saving millions of dollars a year on spare parts and costly downtime by utilizing the EDDY Pump within their mine process pumps. Furthermore, the EDDY Pump’s ability to move high solids allow it to replace the need for conveyors and save power plants millions of dollars in conveyor systems with constant maintenance issues.

Sometimes it is best to use a Dredge Mining Pump the target mineral-rich material directly to the separation equipment.  The higher the percent of solids that you can do in this process saves a significant amount of time and money to treat the water.  The target material is often very consolidated and abrasive and causes many issues for centrifugal pumps.  The EDDY Pump has been designed in many dredge deployments to optimize your solids content for ease of mining.

During mining, froth flotation is often used during the mineral processing stages to help separate the solids from the heavy slurries by taking advantages of differences in their hydrophobicity. The first step in the process is to gather and finely crush and grind chunks of ore into fine particles, with the goal of separating the individual minerals into their own separate grains. The particles are then mixed with water, and the entire solution is then pumped to the mineral processing facility in slurry form and the desired mineral is rendered hydrophobic by the addition of a surfactant or collector chemical. This allows the minerals to bind to the air bubbles of the froth, bringing the majority of valuable minerals to the surface of the slurry in a concentrated form, making it easier to collect.

Froth Flotation ProcessingIn this sense, mining froth can be described as an aerated slurry that either occurs naturally or, in some cases, purposely created to assist with the separation of minerals. Froth flotation is an important step used for the recovery and upgrading of sulfide ores, allowing far more economic recovery of valuable metals from much lower grade ore. Frothing is usually performed in multiple stages to maximize the recovery of target minerals. Historically first developed and used in mining, this process is now also used in other industries including paper and pulp and wastewater treatment.

Pumps run less efficiently when pumping aerated liquids. The higher amount of trapped air in the pump will end up decreasing the pumps flow, head, and overall efficiency. Air that becomes trapped in the slurry can collect near the impeller eye, forming a column that effectively blocks fluid from reaching it. This effect is common with centrifugal pumps and is known as air locking or air binding your pump. Furthermore, the volume of the froth is about the same as a liquid, making it nearly impossible to predict precisely how much air will be pulled from the froths. Due to this, froth pumps run a bit differently than standard liquid pumps.

The Eddy Pump patented design is ideal for handling the pumping of froth. Based on the open design of the Eddy Pump rotor the air from the froth is able to dissipate quicker than with any other pump on the market. This allows for the Eddy Pump to pump froth from all industries without the usual wear and tear on pumps. Furthermore, due to the design of Eddy Pump not having any critical tolerances, the wear on the pump does not cause constant pump failure and the need for costly spare parts. On average the Eddy Pump will outlast the leading centrifugal pumps in pumping froth by 300% without needing to replace the wear parts, leading to massively improved production rates in multiple applications.

Benefits of Using EDDY Mining Pumps

1. Time Efficiency

When you use an eddy pump to complete the mining process, you do not need to invest separate time in stopping the process and collecting the unwanted debris. The eddy/centrifugal mining pump — automatically pumps out the slurry from the hole that it digs. This debris is now transported via means of robust tubes to a location far away from the mining site. Therefore, you can efficiently mine for a larger time without stopping.

High Resistance to Wear

After significant time and usage of traditional mining pumps, they tend to wear down quickly due to the harsh environment due to a combination of high abrasion, heat, and corrosion which are all commonly encountered with various types of mine tailings. The wear and tear process, over time, makes the volute or pump casing brittle and rapidly chews through impellers, causing the pump to drastically lose efficiency and creates costly downtime for maintenance and pump replacements. The wear and tear will get worse as more and more of the mine tailing material comes into contact with the impeller and other critical pump components. Since the EDDY Pump is designed to keep the majority of material away from the rotor, it drastically increases the life of the pump, resulting in far less maintenance and downtime which directly translates to increased production.

2. Cost Reduction

When you use a conventional boring or mining machine, you need to stop the procedure to collect the debris each time the mine is filled with it. After stopping the process, you need a method to collect the slurry and transport it out of the mine. Many mining operations typically either hire operators to use heavy material moving equipment or employ a conveyor belt to carry out the mine tailings removal process. Even after removing out the mine tailings from the mine, you need to invest in hiring expensive bulldozers, excavators, and trucks to carry out the transport of spent material from the mine location to a disposal location. Since the use of an EDDY Pump allows you to carry out the transportation of debris simultaneously, you can reduce the cost of the entire process considerably.

4. Lowest Lifecycle Cost

In 2007, a life cycle cost analysis was done for 25 of the EDDY Pumps on USCG ships, comparing their current pump versus an EDDY Pump. An estimated $17,717,000 in savings was discovered. Much of these savings are related to the absence of overhauling costs associated with the EDDY Pump, along with the minimal corrective maintenance costs.

Equipment Options for Job:

EDDY Pump Mining Equipment

EDDY Pump material moving equipment can be deployed in various pump and dredge configurations to optimize operations within a mine.  Some of the ideal deployments for the mining industry are Excavator Pump Attachments, Subdredge, Liner-Safe Dredges, Autonomous Dredges, Cable-Deployed Pumps, Spud-Dredges, Sump Pumps, Self-Priming Pumps.

Excavator Dredge Pump Attachment

Excavator Dredge for Mining

Any mine can easily handle their tailings ponds by simply connecting an EDDY Pump Excavator Dredge Pump Attachment to one of their existing excavators.

The EDDY Pump Excavator Pump Attachment is the ideal mine pump as it allows the mine or contracting company with little or no experience in dredging to easily convert one of their existing excavators or rental into a hydraulic dredge.  Then an excavator operator easily can learn how to operate the Excavator Pump Attachment with only a few hours of training.  The Excavator Pump gets pinned to the end of the excavator boom and can either be used with a cutterhead or a liner safe rolling attachment.  The liner-safe wheels allow the pump to easily glide over the liner without having any negative effect, but still removing all the mine tailings.

The slurry hose is connected to the pump and runs along the boom of the excavator over the back and connects into HDPE pipeline.  The Excavator Pump can easily move material at rates of up to 400 cubic yards over distances of over a mile at solids rates of 40-70%.  Please click here to see more about the proper pump and excavator size for your application. Excavator Dredge Pump Attachment Info Here.

Cable-Deployed Pump

Mining Cable Hanging Pump

The EDDY Pump Cable-Deployed Pump with water jetting system is ideal for projects where a crane is available.  The EDDY Pump can be run electrically or hydraulically and suspended from the crane on a cable.  The water-jetting system breaks up the material and feeds the EDDY Pump. Cable Deployed Dredge info Here

Autonomous Dredge

Mining Autonomous Dredger

For tailings ponds lined or unlined which need continuous dredging, the EDDY Pump Autonomous Dredge is a great solution that minimizes manpower and can run 24/7. This is a floating unit that is automated to run continuously without an operator.  The pump is deployed from floats and can be powered by an electric or hydraulic power system. Autonomous Dredge Info Here.

Spud Dredge

For ultimate precision dredging the EDDY Pump 4-spud self-advancing dredge is ideal for surgical digging.  This 4-spud self-advancing dredge can dredge at depths of up to 30-ft and target fly ash at high solid contents.

Subdredge ROV

EDDY Subdredge ROV

The EDDY Pump Subdredge is a remote-operated submersible dredge that can dredge at depths of greater than 100-ft.  The Subdredge has the smallest dredge footprint on the market.  The Subdredge can be powered electrically or hydraulically and pump material at rates of up to 400 cubic yards of material an hour at pumping distances of over a mile. Submersible Subdredge ROV Info Here.

Process Pumps (Sumps & Custom Applications)

Mining Process Pumps

The same EDDY Pump that powers all of the equipment shown can be used as a stand-alone process pump. Mount it vertically, horizontally, submerged, dry, and power it electric or hydraulic. We specialize in matching the ideal setup to your application. Custom pumps are our specialty. Process Pump Info Here.

Questions? Call Us: 619-258-7020

Tell us about your project. See the custom pump curve page and we can start the first step of a quote to determine if your project is a fit for our equipment. Contact Us Here

Mine Tailings Pumping Scenario

The purpose of this page is to identify your application and learn more about an equipment solution to meet your needs. These are the most common mining applications that we work with. We are the OEM for the tools shown.

Application: Mine pits, outside or in the mine application
Material: Tailings from gold, different ores, coal and others in slurry form.

Common Mining Scenario:

The EDDY Pump Excavator Attachment is ideal for pumping mine tailings, lined ponds or other bodies of slurry.   

By attaching the EDDY Pump to a standard boom or long boom excavator you can get reach of up to 75-ft and handle the most difficult mine applications.  The EDDY Pump allows you to pump the tailings at distances over 2-miles at production rates of up to 600 tons of material per hour or 5000 GPM.  

Optional upgrade, add liner-safe rollers, it also gives you the ability to dredge on concrete lined sumps or poly-lined reservoirs.

Below are commonly distances we see, along with a pump curve to match the details. Contact us with your exact numbers.

Distance: 1000 ft
Vertical Rise: 30 ft
Production: 3581 GPM 

Equipment Used: EDDY Pump 8 Inch Excavator Attachment. Cutter Head OR Roller Wheel setup.
Excavator Type: CAT 320 or larger (or equivalent model excavator)
Optional HPU: Excavator powered attachment OR a separate Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU) will power the pump attachment.  The ideal option is based on your project requirements.

mine tailings

Sales Quote With Custom Pump Curve

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See The EDDY Pump in Action

Mine Slurry Video

If you have questions about your application, contact us.

Mine Pumping Photos

Photos of recent ash pumping projects. Power plans and ash slurry ponds are the primary clients of EDDY Pump.

Why EDDY Pumps Are Better – Highlights

This video shows how EDDY Pump beats out traditional centrifugal pumps when it comes to tough slurry and abrasive materials. EDDY Pump is the at the heart of all of our featured dredge pump equipment including the Remote Operated Subdredge, Diver Operated Pump and a Excavator Attachment Dredge Pump.

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