Optimum water distribution between pumping stations of multiple mine shafts
Oosthuizen, Nicolas Laurens
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In 2011 the mining industry purchased 14.5% of the electrical energy generated by Eskom. During 2011 in South Africa, dewatering pump systems on gold mines were the fourth largest electrical energy consumer on South African mines therefor making dewatering pumps ideal candidates to generate significant financial savings. These savings can be realised by controlling time-of-use (TOU) schedules. Previous studies concentrated on the impact of improving a pumping scheme of a single mineshaft. This dissertation will focus on the operations of a complete dewatering system consisting of multiple mineshafts. The case study will consist of a gold mine complex comprising of five different shafts - each with its own reticulation system – as well as the larger interconnected water reticulation system. Various pumping options were investigated, simulated and verified. The interaction between shafts was determined when load-shifting was scheduled for all the shafts taking each shaft’s particular infrastructure into account. The underground dewatering system was automated and optimised based on the simulation results. Mine safety protocols were adhered to while optimal pump operational schedules were introduced.
- Engineering