Open Pit Mine Dewatering, Kapuskasing, Ontario


It was 4 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon when the call came in to Aquatech. Defying the odds, all four diesel pumps belonging to another contractor had broken down in an open-pit mine dewatering operation at the Agrium Kapuskasing Phosphate Operations in Kapuskasing, about 500 miles to the north.

The quarry excavation consisted of four separate digs approximately 240 feet below the ground surface. The mining operation is under steady water recharge, quickly returning to its flooded condition unless the quarry is aggressively dewatered.

Further complicating the request, there was no electrical power at this remote location, so pumping equipment needed to be diesel powered. The pumps were required to handle varying volumes and off er a significant Total Dynamic Head (TDH) – the vertical distance the water needed to be pumped.


Aquatech engineers got on the phone with mining company staff to calculate pump requirements. We determined that the four broken pumps could be replaced by three large specialized pumps.

The first HL5M could pump 500 gpm at 400 feet, while the second HL5M would pump 1,100 gpm at 250 feet. The CD300M would pump 3,000 gpm at 120 feet. These large pumps, totaling 575 horsepower of Caterpillar diesel engine power, were parked in Aquatech’s yard and ready to ship.

The mining company was unable to source a truck to pick up the equipment required to make the 10-hour trip, so Aquatech staff quickly located two third-party transports. One was hired out of Sudbury, four hours away, and another from Stouff ville, about 10 miles away. The three large pumps arrived at the mine site 39 hours after the emergency call was made. The mining operations resumed to meet the production schedule and we were able to enjoy hero status for the rest of the week.