A combined pumping test and heat extraction/recirculation trial in an abandoned haematite ore mine shaft, Egremont, Cumbria, UK

David Banks, Jonathan K. Steven, John Berry, Neil Burnside, Adrian J. Boyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A pumping test at rates of up to 50 L s⁻¹ was carried out in the 256 m-deep Florence Shaft of the Beckermet–Winscales–Florence haematite ore mine in Cumbria, UK, between 8th January and 25th March 2015. Drawdowns in mine water level did not exceed 4 m and the entire interconnected mine complex behaved as a single reservoir. Pumping did, however, induce drawdowns of around 1 m in the St. Bees Sandstone aquifer overlying the Carboniferous Limestone host rock. During a second phase of the pumping test, a proportion of the 11.3–12 °C mine water was directed through a heat pump, which extracted up to 103 kW heat from the water and recirculated it back to the top of the shaft. Provided that an issue with elevated arsenic concentrations (20–30 µg L⁻¹) can be resolved, the Florence mine could provide not only a valuable resource of high-quality water for industrial or even potable uses, it could also provide several hundred to several thousand kW of ground sourced heating and/or cooling, if a suitable demand can be identified. The ultimate constraint would be potential hydraulic impacts on the overlying St Bees Sandstone aquifer. The practice of recirculating thermally spent water in the Florence Shaft produced only a rather modest additional thermal benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-69
Number of pages19
JournalSustainable Water Resources Management
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • haematite iron ore
  • heat pump
  • geothermal energy
  • mine shaft
  • mine water
  • arsenic

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