A major milestone has been achieved on a water management project being undertaken in the Northern Territory by Intech.

Three 670 kW submersible pumps were installed into a disused underground vent shaft for dewatering the open pit at Glencore’s McArthur River Mine. Each pumping system comprised of motor, coupling, pump and steel rising main, and were connected to a common headworks at the top of the 300 m shaft.

The pumps are powered by skid-mounted electrical supply with HV variable speed drive.

The installation and commissioning was directly managed by Intech personnel and all three pumps were installed in just over a week. The system was rapidly brought online and provided immediate dewatering capability for the mining operation.

Intech reported a significant cost saving made by breaking the work up into smaller packages and awarding them to contractors with specialist skills.

About the project

Intech is completing an advanced water project for GlencoreXstrata’s McArthur River Mine that will provide significant improvements to the infrastructure at the mine to ensure more effective water management and environmental outcomes.

Drawing on Intech’s extensive water management experience (which includes projects for Western Areas NL in Western Australia, A1 Consolidated Gold Mine in Victoria, Carpentaria Gold in Queensland and Straits Resources in New South Wales), the final system will feature:

  • 20 km of HDPE piping
  • Up to 20 pumps including 3 large 800 kW submersible pumps
  • 5,100 ML of new storage dams
  • pumping rates in excess of 1000 L/s
  • a sophisticated control system incorporating fuzzy logic.

For this project, Intech ensured close ongoing cooperation with mine team.  Ryan Haigh heads the project (on-and-off-site) for Intech, managing a team of electrical, mechanical and civil designers.

Through completion of this advanced project, Intech will ensure the mine can comply with environmental requirements into the future.


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