Efficient dewatering solutions are vital to mining operations, and Rio Tinto’s Hope Downs 4 mine site near Newman in the remote Pilbara region is no exception.
With a view to improving reliability and increasing capacity of mine dewatering in the future, Rio Tinto identified the need for some critical dewatering infrastructure. But before they put the project out to tender, they needed a better understanding of the challenge and the potential parameters for a dewatering pipeline that would have to span some 20 kilometres and integrate with an existing turkey’s nest.
Brian De Swardt, General Manager – Operations WA, Engenium
Partnering with fellow consultants Engenium, we developed a concept design for extracting water from the turkey’s nest, specifying everything from pipe sizes and pressure ratings, to pump duty and pump station design.
To keep infrastructure and installation costs to a minimum, we proposed a solution that pumped the water to a natural high point some of the way along the 20-kilometre dewatering path, from where the water would gravitate to a discharge point on a natural creek.
The base design we developed gave Rio Tinto the information they needed to embark on the tender process with confidence.
Not only did they have a good grasp of the design-and-installation challenge, as well as the complications that might arise, we had given them all the benchmark information they needed to accurately assess bids, right down to the size and temperature de-ratings for the HDPE pipeline.