Realising the potential of a mine water supply system
Our client, Midwest Vanadium, was exploring how to increase production at their Windimurra mine site, approximately 80 kilometres east of Mount Magnet in Western Australia. To do so, they had to increase the capacity of the borefield infrastructure servicing the mineral processing facilities.
Having conducted an internal review, Midwest found that the borefield was not delivering enough water for their production needs, but they needed confirmation. And if their assumptions were correct, they also needed to find a way to improve the performance of the borefield – and the bore collector system – as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
Graham Arvidson, Production Manager, Midwest Vanadium Pty Ltd
OneStone’s team visited the site and used existing engineering data from the system to build and calibrate an accurate numerical model, ensuring it mirrored the real-world performance of the system. We were then able to assess the capacity and constraints of the borefield and collector main system, taking into account the effect of high daytime temperatures on the above-ground HDPE pipe – an important factor in assessing the system’s pressure rating.
In addition to confirming that the supply capacity from the existing borefield infrastructure was insufficient to meet production needs, we quickly identified the pipeline that was creating a bottleneck within the system. The pipe’s pressure rating was too low for the required transfer flow rates, which was evidenced by a number of historic bursting incidents.
OneStone took a complex problem and distilled it into a simple recommendation to eliminate bottlenecks within the existing infrastructure and therefore allow production increases. The review we conducted brought clarity to the situation for our client and enabled us to provide recommendations and concepts for cost-effective system upgrades that would enable Midwest Vanadium to optimise plant capacity and production at Windimurra.