Completed Project: African copper mine water supply

Mines are known for their rugged, harsh and unforgiving environments. At the same time they are under pressure to continually strive for best practices and run the non-stop activity of mining and processing.

As the manufacturers of Boreline, we know that the cost of downtime is immeasurable and has to be avoided at all costs.

We had received details from an African copper mine that had to secure a constant supply of water for part of their processing plant which they had upgraded at great capital expense. If the water supply to the ore processing plant was interrupted millions were lost for every day the plant did not operate.

From the photos below, the breakdown of the steel pipes is very evident. Internal failure and scaling resulted in reduced flow while external breakdown continued un-abated… and these lengths had been in operation for less than 6 months!!


After the first failure of the standard steel riser it was also established that in this aggressive environment the 94 kW (124 Hp) motor needed to be serviced regularly to remove the scale build up. Below is a picture of a smaller motor that had failed in the same environment within 8 months. The build-up of scale on the motor reduced its ability to dissipate the heat and it eventually would burn out even with an inducer sleeve in place.

The riser had to be lowered into an existing mine-shaft making it difficult and time consuming to raise and lower steel sections during installation and retrieval. The restricted working area of the head gear did not help matters.
A 200m (650ft) length of 6″ Boreline was supplied on a cable drum. This was laid on the ground close to the installation point along with the power cable and pump. The pump was attached to the hose with the Patented Double-Ring Boreline Coupling.
Boreline has an integrated cable rib system designed to support the power cable along the entire length of the hose. In the photo, Peter Bauer is assisting with technical support and providing instruction on this installation.
The Boreline is clamped, raised and lowered into the well in 23 m (75 ft) sections, the maximum reach of the crane. The clamp rests on the surface at the shaft while another clamp is attached for lifting.
In this manner, the entire length was lowered into position in less than 4 hours. This represents a major achievement considering it took four times as long to remove the rigid section, with twice as many people.
The Boreline and pump have been lowered into position and the flange is supported at the surface. The flange is attached to an elbow and the water is pumped away.
The water flows and the processing plant is back in business. Problem solved.