Sometimes the most common solution is not the best solution. This scenario happened to DRAGFLOW while the company was working on a project in Western Canada.
Oil sands tailings extraction is always a challenge, but by carefully working with the client, DRAGFLOW equipment was used as an optimal method for this challenge. The company’s equipment can be redesigned to guarantee that the job is executed to best in class standards.
In this case, the client told Canadian Dewatering LP, DRAGFLOW’s distributor, their problem and collectively the organizations worked together to find the best solution. The result was a perfect balance between wear and efficiency, creating the HY 400 Oil Sands Edition.
The fluid that was pumped by these units in Fort Mc Murray (Alberta, Canada) is unlike most tailings pond fluids as it is sticky and very abrasive. However, the DRAGFLOW HY400 has been specifically modified for handling slurries with a high content of abrasive solids.
Moreover, the dual pump design provided the reliability demanded by these operations. Notwithstanding the conditional challenges, the unit have achieved 1000+ hours of operation between services, with the new HY 400.
Regarding the operational intervals, Canadian Dewatering LP said: “This is a goal we had set when we started the collaboration. Providing a solution to our client that ensures that tailings produced in mining operations are managed to achieve their long term goal of minimizing and eventually eliminating the storage of tailings.
“With this new, innovative technology that we have implemented with DRAGFLOW, as well as solutions that others have implemented, oil sands operators anticipate the reduction of the land reclamation process from thirty years to ten years. This new equipment provides us the competitive edge to dredge deeper than ever before.”
To solve some of the key problem areas, DRAGFLOW’s engineers made several modifications to create the perfect pump for this application. At the end of the season key areas were focused upon, revealing excellent results and the pump required minimal service.
Full equipment for the job included: DRAGFLOW Dredger DRH400E23DF, DRAGFLOW HY400 Pump Oil Sand Edition, two Cutters EXHY35 (Max Power 35 HP/unit – Max Torque 507 Nm). Comfortable operator cabin and sound proof attention. Dredge also permit a working depth up to 20m keeping the overall dimensions of the hulls as small as 12x8m.
These dredges can extract MFT (Mature Fine Tailings) starting from 20m depth in the tailings ponds that are difficult for conventional ladder style dredging equipment to remove.
Overall success of the Western Canada project was the result of the team collaboration between DRAGFLOW, Canadian Dewatering and the end user client.