Dewatering the Bowmans Trial Pit
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1981
This paper briefly describes the construction in 1979/80 of a 70m deep trial open pit coal mine near Bowmans S.A. and describes more fully the hydrogeological aspects of the exercise. The primary purpose of the Trial Pit was to provide a large sample (700 tonnes) of coal for combustion tests to be carried out in West Germany and the United States of America. Consideration was given to obtaining the sample of coal by drilling and by shaft sinking as alternatives to open pit methods. It was expected that economic mining of the deposit on an operational scale could only be achieved by open cut methods and it was recognised that major uncertainties existed in planning such a mine in the deep unconsolidated multi-aquifer deposit. It was therefore elected to obtain the bulk sample by constructing a trial open pit, which would be closely monitored to provide as much data as possible for future planning of a full scale mine. The dewatering of the Trial Pit was achieved using 26 deep pumping wells, assisted in the later stages by several hundred well points. This was probably the largest dewatering project currently in operation in Australia.