Fortescue Metals Group contracted Techsys Corporation to design and build a solution for the controlled re-injection of ground water back into ground water systems at Christmas Creek, WA. The process, known as MAR (Managed Aquifer Re-injection) takes water from one section of the underground aquifer to allow ore extraction and moves the water to another, non-related aquifer. Techsys were employed to balance the amount of water being put back to the groundwater or aquifer system to maintain water levels within the capacity of the natural system.
With a longstanding partnership, Techsys contracted B&R to help in the design and manufacture of an enclosure solution that was fit to protect equipment in temperatures ranging from -10 to +50 degrees, direct sunlight, frequent lightning strikes, dust, rain, cyclones, saline water and consequently, corrosion. Furthermore, the solution needed to have high integrity to be left unattended for long periods of time and be able to accommodate growth as the FMG mine site grows.
As one of the largest in the world, each MAR control panel is self-contained, with remote SCADA access and telemetry monitoring. Flow rate, level and pressure are also monitored. Collaboratively, the Techsys and B&R professionals were able to design a solution that holistically addressed and solved the challenges at hand. Each panel is mounted onto a concrete base with solar cells for operation and battery charging. Critical investigation into heat management by B&R resulted in the panels having heat shields on the outside to markedly reduce the internal temperature and protect the electrical and electronic components. Dust and rain were handled by the rugged, powdercoated, 2mm aluminium enclosure with an IP66
Fundamentally important to the ongoing management and performance of the mine, the project is deemed to be a success in managing large scale water transfer between underground aquifers with zero discharge into the adjacent creeks that feed into the wetland system of Fortescue Marsh.