High pressure underground mine dewatering

The Challenge

Antofagasta Minerals faced constant water accumulation at the bottom of the mine, it was interfering with the extraction of the minerals. In addition, the mine operators faced:

  • High pressure (more than 24 bars) – resulting from the vertical height differences, which required a pipe that could withstand the pressure and be easily installed.
  • Pipe clogging in HDPE pipes – caused by scale formation on the pipe walls due to the presence of various salts, such as chlorides and sulfates, in varying concentrations in the water.
  • Long installation time – and the need to reduce it by installing a flexible, long pipeline with less connections.

The Solution

The installation of a Pexgol’s flexible pipe, which was produced and transported in coils, reducing both installation time as well as the number of joints. Since installation in early 2011, it has been working with no sign of clogging.

The client is fully satisfied with the pipe’s robust performance, including its quick, easy installation and ability to withstand pressures of higher than 24 bars.

Since Pexgol’s pipes require less maintenance than PE pipes and eliminate previous frequent failures, it will be used for many additional applications at the mine.


Antofagasta Minerals, Michilla Mine
Chile | 2011

Working conditions:

High pressure (over 24 bar).

Pipes used:

Pexgol 160×27, Class 30.




700 meters.


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