Wilson Sump Pump Design Saves Nickel Mine Over $300K in One Year
Glencore’s new Nickel Rim South (NRS) mine in Sudbury Ontario had a major problem. The sump pump system for dewatering and handling slimes was driving handling and maintenance costs sky-high. Like all mines, they were using the hundred-year-old two-section weir system design, and it worked great – until it didn’t. The weir system featured two sump pumps: a dirty sump and a clean sump. Shotcrete and fibers were clogging up the dirty sump pump’s baskets and the pumps burned out frequently. Dirty water full of fines then flowed into the clean sump plugging up they system and causing floods. To empty the dirty sumps, the team at NRS used ore loaders to scoop up the messy solids and dump the debris elsewhere. Then the pumps would be replaced and the cycle started over. This system was inefficient and expensive.