In Pit Dewatering

  • Client:Ernest Henry Mining
  • Location:Ernest Henry Mine, Cloncurry
  • Timeline:2011 - 2012
  • Contract Value:$6 Million approx. (combined)
  • Contract Type:Lump Sum and Schedule of Rates
  • Services:
    • Structural & Piping Fabrication
    • Structural, Mechanical & Piping Installation

Client Need

The new In Pit Dewatering system at Ernest Henry Mine is used to control accumulation of water within the open pit, following major rain events and emergency water inflows.  Mining operations have been severely affected in previous wet seasons and production significantly reduced.

Project Description

Mineforce was responsible for the structural, mechanical and piping installation of four pump stations and interconnecting pipe work. The four pump stations were installed throughout the working levels of the open pit mine.  The water is collected in sumps via drainage channels along the pit haul roads, then pumped via interconnecting rising mains (approximately 16km) from one pump station to another, and finally discharged into a designated surface water storage facility for recirculation within the Concentrator.

Scope of Work

  • Fabrication of 139T structural steel for all pump stations
  • Fabrication of 61T pipe work for all pump stations
  • Installation of structural steel and pipe work onsite
  • Installation of electrical switch rooms, 10 x 850 kW KSB centrifugal slurry pumps
  • Installation of 16km HDPE pipe 630 - 450 diameter
  • Joint commissioning of all the pump stations with Xstrata

Highlights & Achievements

  • Although the installation of the pump stations was a Greenfields project, it was still necessary to carry out most of the installation during the final stages of the open cut mining process at EHM.  Each of the pump stations were constructed on narrow switchbacks and roads, and access ways were shared with heavy mining equipment and haul trucks.  No lost time injuries were recorded in this hazardous working environment.
  • Safe handling and installation of 16km poly pipe works.
  • Project completed to the approved schedule.
  • Resolved pipe route clashes with over/under excavation through our detailers and collaboration with the client’s team.
  • Supply and delivery of 200T steelwork and piping from both our local and offshore fabrication facilities ahead of schedule.