Restoring the capacity of mining tailings ponds


Project Description
A mid-size iron mine near the city of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais - Brazil is now using Dragflow hydraulic pumps to restore the capacity of their tailing ponds. The reason for this is that only Dragflow units can pump these sediments in such high concentrations that the material does not need dewatering prior to being loaded on trucks.
The problem
The Minas Gerais state in Brazil has one of the highest concentration of iron mines per square kilometer in the world. The plants of these mines process the ore they received from the pits, producing a large volume of solid waste (known as tailings). These tailings are deposited in sedimentation ponds inside the plants. When the ponds are filled, the sediments should be moved to an embankment area for final disposal. This was the case of the sedimentations ponds of this mine, as they were reaching critical levels.
One of the main concerns here was keeping the cost at minimum, so there should be as few steps as possible in the process.
Our solution
A Dragflow HY85 hydraulic dredging pump was coupled to the arm of an excavator and powered using its auxiliary hydraulic lines, creating an autonomous unit. This pump, once in operation, move such high concentrations of tailings, that there is no need to dewater the mixture delivered by the pump. Using the discharge pipeline of the pump, the material is directly loaded on trucks, and transported to their final disposal area in an off-site embankment, few kilometers away.