As the demand for minerals and metals grows, mines are being opened throughout the metal-rich region of Greece and the Balkans. One of these operations, which supplies marketable lead/silver and zinc concentrates, is the Mavres Petres mine run by Aktor SA and located in Stratoniki, Greece.
The Mavres Petres mine extracts lead/silver/zinc-bearing ore from an orebody that is some 500 m in strike length, 100-340 m in dip, and averages 25 m wide. The strike of the orebody is close to east-west and the dip is 30° to the south. Pictured here is the portal to the mine's 1,200-m-long adit.
The mine is situated in a difficult site, with water flowing into the adit at approximately 180 m3/h. The adit is 1,200 m long, with an 11% inclination. “A good, reliable and flexible dewatering solution is essential to the smooth running of the mine,” said Kitsakis Panagiotis, project manager with Aktor SA.
To adequately control the inflow, Aktor decided to place dewatering sump installation basins every 200 m. Each pump station includes an Atlas Copco WEDA 90H with non-return valves and two 90-mm-diameter PE pipes, an Atlas Copco WEDA 70H with non-return valves and one 90-mm-diameter PE pipe, and a third pump with similar capacity.
The mine has installed dewatering sumps at 200-m intervals along the main adit to control a groundwater inflow of 180 m3/h.
The Atlas Copco WEDA 90H and WEDA 70H units are portable electric submersible pumps developed for dewatering construction sites, mines and flooded areas. “They have been designed for heavy-duty pumping of liquids with abrasive particles, which makes them ideal for the Mavres Petres mine,” said Sophia Chalkou, area sales manager with Atlas Copco Portable Energy.
According to Chalkou, the compact size of each unit ensures that the overall size of the pump installation basin is relatively small while providing the capability to run one or more units even while one is being serviced.
Each sump contains three dewatering pumps, including Atlas Copco Weda models 70H and 90H.
“Each pump is connected to an electrical master board that automatically switches the pumps on and off according to the water level in the basin,” said Nikos Petof, mechanical engineer with Aktor SA. “This allows us to work efficiently—we only use the pumps when they are needed, reducing energy costs and environmental impact.”
“We have been using Atlas Copco pumps since operations started at the Mavres Petres mine,” said Petof. “When we encountered a few issues commissioning the pumps, Atlas Copco was extremely responsive in providing solutions. I look forward to our reliable partnership continuing in the future.”
Aktor SA is part of the Ellaktor Group, the largest construction company in Greece, with market presence in 17 countries. The group has 60 years of expertise in a range of industries, from mining to construction, and has won various awards for sustainable construction and development.