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Guarding against Pipeline Rupture; A Necessity for Responsible Mining Operations

Availability of water and the sustainability of its supply is critical to mining operations.

Virtually all stages of the mining process requires water. The processes that utilise most volume of water are those which separate minerals from host rocks, cool drilling machines and suppress dust.

Nonetheless, the level of water consumed is case specific, as variations greatly depend on factors such as climate, water chemistry, geology, ore mineralogy, mine management practices and material being mined.

The lower the grade of ore, the more water intensive mining processes are required to extract the ore.

Mining in recent times is experiencing widespread water scarcity, and mining companies have also begun to expand their operations to more remote areas where water scarcity is prevalent. By implication, very robust measures must be put in place to prevent water loss and wastage at all cost.

Pressure surge, which is a pressure transient caused by sudden alteration in fluid velocity, has been responsible for water wastage in mines.

Pressure surge occurs when valves closes too quickly or a pump starts with an empty discharge line or stops abruptly during a pump trip. This results in the creation of pressure waves that are higher than the normal operating pressure, which further results in serious vibrations, piping strain, and in most severe cases, pipe rupture.

It is important to note that while government is putting all policies in place to save the environment from harmful mining operations, companies owe it as a responsibility to ensure that all their operations are environmentally friendly.

Pipe rupture results in spills from pipelines which may contain toxic materials that contaminate water bodies and destroy vegetative land.

When pipes burst in mines, money is spent on replacement and repairs which increases operational cost. Productivity is reduced because mining operation may come to a standstill when serious pipeline burst occurs. 

HPE SOLUTIONS

Anti-surge Valve

The Anti-Surge Valve from HPE is specially designed to prevent pipelines from bursting due to excessive pressure. It operates by opening quickly when pressure in the pipeline reaches a pre-set level. This singular action removes the excessive pressure that builds up in the pipe into the atmosphere, saving the pipe from bursting.

Surge Anticipation Valve System

The Surge Anticipation Valve System is a specialised valve designed to deal with pressure surge increase. It acts by preventing excessive pressure increase that goes beyond the steady state pumping pressure in the event of a trip out. This action is carried out mechanically by the Surge Anticipation Valve System, eliminating the need for electrical systems that require a battery UPS back-up

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