Pit N Portal & PumpEng Supporting Australian Mining

Zac Camilleri, Electrical Supervisor for Pit N Portal, discusses the performance of the PumpEng submersible range at a Queensland underground mine site and the standard of support from PumpEng Townsville branch.

Q. How would you describe this operation?

We are at a small underground lead and zinc mine located in north Queensland, about 40 kilometres northwest of Chillagoe.

Q. You’ve got the MetalVest 37kW submersible dewatering pumps on site now. Where do you use them, and how would you describe the operating environment?

We mainly use the pumps on our level sumps. Being up near Cairns, we’ve got a lot of groundwater underground, so the reliability and the head pressure of the dewatering pumps is very important to us. We are constantly working to get that water moving out of the mine. In terms of water quality, some of the levels are artesian type water. Down the decline, we are moving very filthy grainy type water that is full of silt.

Q. The Right Pump for the Job is a PumpEng goal in order to  increase the Mean (net) Time Between Failure. Can you describe your experience with the MetalVest 37kW pumps?

This is my first experience using PumpEng pumps. They are easily by far the most reliable I’ve used.

Q. How long are the pumps lasting in that environment compared with the pumps you had there in the past?

I’d say in the sumps; we’d be getting at least 30% longer than some of the other brands we’ve used in the past.

Q. Can you comment on the operating stamina you are seeing from MetalVest 37kW pumps dealing with this type of water?

They’ve been great. The miners usually destroy them before the pumps break down from the operating conditions. If we could keep the miners away from them, they’d last a lot longer. (Laughs)

Q. You’ve now had experience with a few different PumpEng pumps at your site. What feedback can you give about the pump range as a whole?

They are a range suitable for all different types of environments. You can use them anywhere. They’re good.

Q. What feedback are you getting from your team about the quality of the pumps?

All the electricians have commented that the PumpEng pumps seem to be lasting a lot longer than the dewatering pumps they’ve used on other sites. They are getting the same impression that I did.

Q. PumpEng wants to give people A Good Day At Work. What does that look like for you and your team now you are using MetalVest pumps on-site? How are things better?

The less time we have to get called down for a breakdown of pumps, the happier we are. Obviously, most of the time, the electrical departments on mines are always the smallest department. The more reliable the electrical equipment we have, the more we can get on with other priorities. Also, anything to do with electrical and water has a safety aspect to it. So the fewer breakdown events, the safer the site. From a safety perspective, it also helps that all the cables on PumpEng pumps are the correct type.

Q. I understand that your head office is in Kalgoorlie, and your contact network is Australia wide. Can you describe your experience of support you’ve been getting locally through the PumpEng support network?

Our support has come from the Townsville office, and it has been really good. A few times, we’ve hit water, and I’ve had to mobilise pumps on short notice, and they’ve always delivered.

What is the future in terms of pumps on this site?

As we develop further down, we’re going to require more of these pumps in the sumps. Our main focus is getting a decent mono station backbone to support those sump pumps.

If you were talking to someone who hasn’t tried out the PumpEng pumps what would your advice to them be?

I’d highly recommend them. There is general agreement here that these are some of the best submersible pumps that we’ve come across. Certainly the best I’ve come across, personally.