When a chrome mine in the Steelpoort area recently experienced a challenge with a tailings dam overfilling with slurry sediment, it was Integrated Pump Rental and its SlurrySucker Maxi dredging unit that came to the rescue.
“One of our mining customers had a tailings dam that was filled with slurry to over 110% of its capacity and the sediment needed to be remove to ensure optimum functioning of the tailings facility,” Lee Vine, managing director of Integrated Pump Rental, explains.
Integrated Pump Rental’s SlurrySucker dredge units are suitable for dredging and cleaning water capture areas where silt or slimes has become an issue, or where water retention and water holding capacity in process ponds is being threatened.
Equipped with 37 kW Bravo 700 Grindex pump, and with capacity to pump 70 tph of slurry, the SlurrySucker Maxi operates at an average of about 40% concentration, depending on factors such as the material’s specific gravity and how solid the sediment has become.
“The beauty of the SlurrySucker Maxi is that we only need one small area to begin the desilting work,” says Vine, “In this case, we started in one corner of the dam and created a cut by attacking the sediment to create space for more water to re-enter the working area.”
He highlights that the mine needed the dam to remain on line during the dredging, so water would continue to enter the pond from the processing plant.
“The SlurrySucker only needs a 400 mm draught of water above the sediment for the floating unit to operate,” he says. “A dewatering pump takes the top layer of water and feeds it down to the dredge-head, where the slurry is agitated so it can be pumped away.”
The dredging unit is pulled back and forth across the dam, creating a new cut on each journey by removing a lane of silt at a time. Despite its capacity of 75 dry tph, the SlurrySucker Maxi model’s compact design makes it simple to move and operate. It measures just 5,4 metres in length and is long, 2,5 metres wide and 3 metres high.