Lee, C & Mehrotra, S 2020, 'Design of Booster Stations for Paste Backfill and the Implementation at Hindustan Zinc’s Rampura Agucha Mine', in H Quelopana (ed.), 23rd International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings - PASTE 2020
, Gecamin Publications, Santiago, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2052_54
Hindustan Zinc’s Rampura Agucha Mine is a world class orebody that has successfully transitioned from an open pit operation to an underground sublevel open stoping with paste backfill operation. The mine currently has two identical paste plants that each can produce between 160-185 m3/hr of cemented paste backfill. Plant #1 was commissioned in 2014 and plant #2 was commissioned in 2019.
The two plants are equipped with Putzmeister piston pumps that pump from the plant to the edge of the pit, down a borehole to the North and South main ramps and then down the ramps to the top of the underground orebody approximately 500 m below surface. Each plant was designed with an operating and standby paste pump. Most of the orebody can be reached from these main lines, however, at the extreme north end of the pit, there is portion of the underground orebody that is above the uppermost underground delivery level and at a significant horizontal distance from the main paste trunk lines.
Because of the location of these northern stopes, an overland pipeline to the north of the pit is required before entering a borehole down to the stoping levels. This lateral distance on surface and underground would have resulted in very high pressure on the paste pumps, and a decision was made to temporarily install the standby pump from plant 2 at a booster station that would allow the northern stopes to be reached with a 2 stage pumping system instead of a single stage pumping system.
The booster station was installed and commissioned in 2019 and this paper discusses the design principles regarding booster stations in general as well as the specific design, commissioning, and operational experiences with the booster station at Rampura Agucha Mine.