Tsurumi pumps work amongst explosions and acid to keep Cypriot mine safeApril 21, 2013
A group of Tsurumi pumps have been working fault-free at one of Europe’s largest open air copper mines since the first pump was installed at the site in 2011. The Skouriotissa copper mine in Cyprus is operated by Hellenic Copper Mines Ltd. At 4,000 years old, it is one of the oldest operational mines in the world. The dewatering pumps ensure safe day-to-day operation of the mine by removing groundwater, rainwater, and highly acidic liquids (pH 2) unearthed by explosive excavation.
The mobile pump units are moved around the site to manage groundwater clearance and general dewatering at the Skouriotissa copper mine, which contains high levels of acidic liquids and regularly uses explosives to excavate new ore. As land is excavated, new groundwater is unearthed, and must be quickly removed to maintain a safe and efficient working site. This constant cycle presents a difficult environment for most pumps. Skouriotissa has tried several pumps over the years; most recently, Tsurumi pumps have assumed this challenging role. For over two years, the only replacement part required has been a solitary power cable after it was accidentally cut.
All of the pumps were supplied by D.I.S. Power Plant Ltd., Tsurumi’s Cypriot dealer after their 2010 partnership. Included are models from the company’s SFQ and PU range. Pumps within the former range are made from austenitic steel, and are ideal for handling corrosive liquids; pumps within the latter range are made from stainless steel and high-tech resin molds, translating to a durable and lightweight pump that can easily be moved around the job site. Hellenic Copper Mines has observed that the pumps operate best when they are run continuously, even if the water level is minimal.
“Acidic liquids, explosions and outdoor work makes this a pretty challenging environment but our customer is delighted to have finally found a pump that works in this demanding and highly toxic environment,” says Demetris Demetriou, owner of D.I.S. Power plant. “We are confident that Tsurumi’s products are the most reliable pumps in the market – they can handle almost any demand and keep on working for years with no problems at all.”
Quick and easy disassembly allows for expedited routine maintenance to clear mud buildups and blockages, ensuring high efficiency and long pump life. The entire pump is designed to be dismantled in as little as eight minutes.
Hellenic Copper Mines prides itself on providing high quality copper in a safe environment. The company achieves this by a process of leaching, solvent, extraction and electrowinning to get the best product from the site. The mine produces 8,000 t of copper cathode each year of 99.99 percent purity.
Tsurumi is also a supplier of submersible pumps.