Pumping 50 liters/second of extremely acid water in a copper mine

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Courtesy of Grindex Pumps

In the largest underground copper mine in the world, near Santiago de Chile, Grindex Inox pumps are making money!

The green colour in the extremely acid water, pH 3, is a result of the high copper content. The mine is interested in reclaiming that copper instead of just sending the water to the treatment plant. The Inox pumps in the picture replaced conventional end-suction pumps that were pumping only 15 liters/second and had spare part availability problems. In the new setup, two Grindex Major N Inox pumps in the sump, they are able to pump around 50 liters/second. This way the pumps paid for themselves in only a matter of months.

Grindex' exclusive distributor for the Chilean market, Santiago based ACH, provide a maintenance contract where the pumps are pulled out for preventive maintenance every 2000 hours and replaced by a stand-by pumps. The preventive maintenance avoids unscheduled stops and more expensive repairs and the total maintenance cost is cut drastically.

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