Mine Production Water Supply Saved by Water Transfer
Mine stays online during drought with 2.5 mile long Rain for Rent water transfer system
2012 brought dry conditions to Minnesota. One large mine risked losing operational capacity as its production water supplies dwindled. The mine needed to bring water from an alternate source.
Working with Rain for Rent, the two developed a pit-to-tailings pumping system. 10,000 gallons per minute of quarry water were needed to keep the mine operational. An alternate water supply was found, but the water transfer had to overcome 400 feet of head across more than two and a half miles to reach the production water supply reservoir.
To supply the water, four pumps were floated in the quarry water reservoir. These pumps fed 12 inch HDPE lines through a common valve manifold where two steel frac tanks held the water.
Floating pumps were chosen for the suction due to suction lift limitations and variations. Throughout the four months of planned pumping, the quarry water pit was expected to drop up to 100 feet.
Two electric HH325c pumps and three DV400c booster pumps pulled water from the steel holding tanks. They were placed in parallel along the temporary HDPE pipeline to take the water more than 12,000 feet discharging into a holding ditch.
Once the water arrived at the ditch, an additional DV400 pump took the water over the tailings reservoir wall to resupply the basin.
In all, more than 15,000 feet of HDPE were used along with flow meters, alarm agents. Cooperation between mine engineers and Rain for Rent engineers along with safety-focused operators kept the mine online and producing despite the dry conditions that year.