Aussie rescue mine flood

Aussie Pumps
2” 316 Stainless steel ‘Aussie Mine Spec’ pumps in production, ready for testing before heading out for a tough life in the mines.


We all realise that climate change is a reality. Weather events are more erratic, more dramatic and have more impact on everyday life as well as the possible disruption of Australia’s leading industries, ie; mining and agriculture.

The devastation and tragedy created in NSW at Lismore, the recent floods in North Queensland, South Australia and Victoria are testament to the need for action in terms of preparation before the next event.

As we prepare this submission for the Mining Review Magazine we are conscious of the fact the “Big Wet” has finally started in north Australia. That means the possibility of a major impact on mining operations from Weipa in Queensland, to Groote Eylandt and further west to our massive resource of iron ore.

Dealing with floods

When floods are a 100 year event it is easy for Governments, Local, State and Federal to ignore the need for any serious activity.

For example, the idea that you don’t have to do anything about the last flood, except clean it up, with the next one 99 years away.

Those days are over!

Yet, Local Government bodies are under-funded, unable to deal with serious flood mitigation. At both State and Federal levels, they seem oblivious to the need to react to the recent events.

For example, we don’t read about the NSW Government’s massive plans to build levies and dikes around Lismore to protect the town from the next flood.

We know the flood is coming, but it gets back to political priorities.

Yes, Politicians will look sad, be photographed in the devastation created by the flood but, still nothing much seems to happen.

No dams, no levies, no side channels, no massive concrete works to prevent the next flood.

Mines are different

Not everybody knows that mining is the backbone of Australia’s economy.

Our Politicians know it although they don’t ever really sing the praises of the industry.

On the other hand, we know that mines are our “Big Earner” and a mine that is under water, or for that matter, isolated, becomes instantly unproductive.

One Australian pump manufacturer, Australian Pump Industries, has studied these issues and is offering both townships and mines a mobile flood mitigation program.

It takes the form of heavy duty pumps designed for moving large volumes of dirty flood water from where it is, to where you want it to be.

The pumps, big 6” self priming gushers will handle spherical solids up to 3 inches in diameter.

They will pump 6000 lpm in terms of flow and are equipped to handle dirty water, even contaminated sewage.

The big pumps, called Aussie MQ600TD, are powered by 80hp Deutz air cooled diesel engines and come in either skid or trailer mounted configurations.

What’s so good about these pumps is their simplicity. The pump consists of one big cast iron body with a huge self priming tank built into the casting.

It is that big tank that enables the machine to a draft water through a vertical lift of 7.6m.

No priming devices are required.

The pump primes itself!

The impeller is a huge open design built to withstand abrasion and solids laden liquid. The mechanical seal is “an over the top” oil lubricated, tungsten titanium carbide configuration.

Best of all there is a huge clean out port built into the front of the body that enables a choke to be cleared in a matter of minutes. In other words, it is designed for this specific application!

Skid mount “6 trash pump

This version is built on a heavy duty steel frame with a 150ltr fuel tank. That fuel tank allows the engine an 11 hour run time.

A balanced integrated lifting bar is also included in the package.

Safety Equipment including a LOFA engine control shutdown system incorporates warnings for low oil pressure, high oil temperature and even v-belt failure.

Additionally, a shock mounted control panel is also provided. It’s built into a water resistant housing and includes an hour metre, ammeter, tachometer and alternator failure light.

Best of all it is all heavy duty, simple and handles a lot of water!

Make it mobile

Aussie Engineers have enabled the skid mount version to be promptly turned into a heavy duty site trailer configuration.

That includes a robust torsion style dual axle, max load 1,600kg, and heavy duty army style drawbar.

Robust jack legs are also incorporated in the 6” trailer mount pump.

Clear it fast …. Over 8 million litres per day

Three of these heavy duty machines, trailer mounted can be dropped into a site by helicopter if necessary, and can pump up to 25 million litres of water every 24 hours.

That’s like buying a flood mitigation system without concrete channels, dams or levies as part of the package. Of course, smart operators also take precautions and do invest in infrastructure to facilitate the movement of water fast, even with pumps like the Big Aussie Job!

Saving horsham

It was almost 15 years now since Millers Contracting, an earthmoving contractor who uses an Aussie MQ600TD, 6000 lpm pump, just for site dewatering, saved the Victorian town of Horsham from flooding.

The Miller team moved fast and were able to pump water from the town into a side channel, providing “instant flood relief service.”

More recently, 23 of these machines saved the capital city of South Sudan, Juba from flooding by redirecting the Nile River away from the city.

This was no easy task bearing in mind that two thirds of the country was underwater at the time with an unprecedented flood waters flowing from the “Al-Sudd.”

Aussie air freighted six of those pumps from Sydney to Juba. In spite of the primitive operating conditions, the city was saved!

Why wet prime pumps work

Australian Pump Industries is the specialist in self priming centrifugal pumps. Although they started out with small lightweight portable fire pumps the company have expanded the range over the last 30 years and now offers these Flood Busters for contaminated water and sewage by-pass as well.

“That’s our specialty,” said Aussie Engineer Chief, John Hales. “We’ve now had 30 years of experience of working with the mining industry. We work with drillers, open cut mines, as well as underground operations!

Our big trash pumps are doing a mighty job alluvial gold mining and have proven to be super reliable and very effective,” he said.

The concept is simple. Instead of having vacuum pumps or compressors attached to the pump, Aussie’s self priming only need the pump to be primed through a port in the top of the pump casing.

Thus, their trash pumps in “Mine Boss” configuration are all self priming.

They can be drained with a drain plug at the bottom of the casing as well, facilitating storage and of course maintenance.

Mine Boss versions are available for all of the Trash Pump range from the 2” diesel

Yanmar version to the big 4” pumps and of course the big 6” MQ600TD.

Proven performer

When Tonga flooded in January 2022 the Tonga Government put two MQ600TD’s to work to save the island from serious flood damage. The pumps did a mighty job!

An Aussie
MQ600TD at work
in Juba redirecting
the Nile in South

“We like self priming pumps because they’re simple,” said Hales. “We know designing components out of the system is a great way to reduce maintenance.

The less parts there are, the less there is to go wrong,” he said.

What’s next?

Hales revealed the impeding introduction of a new 4” heavy duty cast iron semi trash pump with a 26hp Kohler engine. The new model, still under development, is due for

release in March 2024.

It will be available in Mine Boss configuration.

It is of course a self priming pump and although it has already proven itself for fast filling water carts, it will fill the gap in the market for heavy duty portable 4”trash pump for mine dewatering.

“It is a beautiful pump,” said Hales. “In the heavy duty stainless steel frame and our Mine Boss configuration, it will eliminate a huge range of issues that currently beset mining companies. Yes, there’ll be a cast 316 stainless steel option and it won’t be ridiculously expensive,“ he said.

Service stations & distributions

“Although we have a lot of commercial service stations around Australia for small Honda and Yanmar engine drive pumps, we now know we need specialised distributors focused on the mining industry.

Australia’s mining giants need to get fast service, even in remote locations,” said Hales.

Interested parties should contact Australian Pump Industries Mining Department.

Aussie Pumps John Hales with five 6" MQ600TD's
Aussie Pumps John Hales with five 6″ MQ600TD’s

Further information on the complete Aussie “Mine Boss”, range of Trash pumps and stainless steel pumps is available from