Xylem’s pumps, treatment equipment and analytical instruments and technologies help mines at every stage in the water management cycle.
Xylem is the name of the tissue in plants that brings water upward from the root.
Much like its definition, Xylem the company helps mines and quarries to not only bring water to their production facilities but also through all stages of water boosting, dewatering open pit and underground mines, slurry pumping, water treatment and testing.
Xylem’s slogan – “Let’s solve water” – reflects the company’s vision to be a holistic solution provider for water management. As Paul Gaby, Xylem Oceania’s product and marketing manager explained, the company relies on its “local experts and quality products” to achieve that vision.
“Our strength as a company lies in having people who are skilled in everything water-related and backing that up with a portfolio of leading product brands,” Gaby said.
As a global company with more than 16,000 employees and offices in more than 150 countries, Xylem’s product range is extensive. Brands such as Godwin and Flygt have a manufacturing history of more than 100 years, with 17 other brands including Lowara, Wedeco, Sanitaire, Leopold, Goulds and YSI added to the mix in past decades.
Gaby said while water access is a key challenge for many mines, being able to remove water from the operation in an environmentally friendly way often poses an even bigger challenge.
“Removing water or dewatering a mine site might seem minor, but in reality, it is as big a challenge as supply,” he explained. “Xylem’s broad range of dewatering pumps enables us to help mines overcome dewatering challenges within their space and access constraints.”
Water and wastewater treatment is another area where the company offers multiple innovations.
“An example of how Xylem is bringing innovation into the mining industry in the area of water and wastewater treatment is highly compact biological treatment utilising an in-situ build-up sludge cake layer for bio-solid filtration through the in-house brand Sanitaire,” Gaby said.
“Another example is the newly developed smart Flygt mixing devices to build autonomous mixing applications. In addition, Xylem supports customers to recover cyanide in gold mining processes via containerised ozone systems under the global leading brand Wedeco.”
Gaby added Xylem has a lot to offer for online flow monitoring and water quality monitoring pre- and post-treatment.
“Our engineers can help organisations choose and configure system components that allow them to have a compact footprint, while simplifying operation and reducing life cycle costs.”
Dewatering of open pit and underground mines is another area where Xylem’s products, expertise and solutions come into play, Gaby said.
“In open pit mines, we pump surface water from the pit and lower the water table through active dewatering to prevent disruption of mine production. Underground, we transfer water from sumps, optimise main drainage, and dewater shafts.”
With open pit mines getting deeper and deeper, Gaby said pumping high lifts and long distances is becoming a key requirement.
“Xylem’s booster pumps can be used underground to maintain system pressure for machinery like drill rigs.
“As an original equipment manufacturer, Xylem has direct access to global teams for support and innovative product development. We have products that can support a mine site’s needs for every step of the water cycle and we can sell or rent equipment to support our customers’ budgeting needs of OPEX or CAPEX investments.”
With multiple branches across Australia and New Zealand, Xylem can support extractive customers in all locations.
“Our highly skilled technicians can service and repair any critical equipment,” Gaby said. “We also provide large warehousing inventory to make sure products are available to our customers in times of emergency.
“Xylem’s vision is to devote our technology, time and talent to advancing the smarter use of water. That’s the vision that has been driving the development and growth of our products and solutions.” •