Tag Archives: Geho

Weir adds aftermarket and service contract to Iron Bridge remit

The Weir Group says it has won a £95 million ($127 million) order to provide aftermarket components and service to the Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia.

The aftermarket contract follows Weir’s success in winning a record £100 million order for original equipment for the Iron Bridge project in 2019, including its Enduron® High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGRs, pictured) that, it says, will enable dry processing of ore and use at least 30% less energy than traditional alternatives.

The Iron Bridge magnetite project is a $2.6 billion joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group’s subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd located in the Pilbara region, around 145 km south of Port Hedland.

Both the aftermarket order and revenues will be recognised over the seven-year period of the agreement, which starts in 2022, in line with the 22 Mt/y project’s initial production.

Ricardo Garib, President of Weir Minerals, said: “This is another landmark order for Weir. Having helped design an energy and water efficient magnetite processing plant, we are delighted to provide operational support for Iron Bridge from 2022. It is an excellent example of the value that Weir’s innovative engineering and close customer support can create for all our stakeholders and reflects the key role we have to play in making mining operations more sustainable and efficient.”

Weir’s Enduron HPGRs are increasingly replacing conventional mills in comminution circuits, Weir says. In addition to their energy and water savings, they also reduce grinding media consumption, while their wearable components last longer, reducing maintenance costs. Additionally, HPGRs contribute significantly to carbon dioxide emission savings.

Stuart Hayton, Managing Director of Weir Minerals Netherlands, where the Enduron HPGRs are designed and manufactured, said: “This is an important project for Weir and for the broader mining industry. We know comminution is one of the most energy intensive parts of the mineral process and, with our Enduron HPGRs, we have a unique ability to offer significant cost, energy and water savings to customers around the world. As the mining industry evolves, we are commited to continuing to innovate, reducing miners’ costs and environmental impact.”

This latest contract award means Weir now has more than £200 million of orders from the Iron Bridge project including its Enduron HPGRs, GEHO® and Warman® pumps, Cavex® hydrocyclones and Isogate® valves.

To support the project and future growth, Weir says it will build a new service centre in Port Hedland, Western Australia, thereby providing employment and training opportunities in the area, with a particular emphasis on supporting greater Aboriginal representation in the broader mining workforce.

Weir Minerals Pumped Up by new dewatering game for miners

Weir Minerals says it has created a “fun and simple game” to educate its customers on the OEM’s dewatering capabilities.

Pumped Up! uses a variety of Weir Minerals dewatering equipment to move water around a fictional mine site, according to Ian Ross, Global Product Manager for Dewatering at Weir Minerals.

Each of the 10 levels present players with a different dewatering obstacle to overcome, from recycling, to flooding, to underground mines and long distance pump requirements. Levels increase in difficulty, and the number of points awarded is determined by how long each level takes to complete.

Products included as part of Weir Minerals’ dewatering solution in Pumped Up! include Warman®, Geho®, Floway®, and Multiflo® pumps as well as Isogate® and Delta® valves, and Linatex® hoses.

The game was released as part of Weir Minerals’ 2019 Take Control Of Your Water dewatering solutions campaign. Through articles, expert profiles, and case studies, the campaign demonstrates how Weir Minerals use its engineering and project management capabilities, together with a wide range of equipment, to deliver an optimised dewatering solution unique to every customer site, the company said.

Head to www.dewateringsolutions.weir to play the game.

Weir to expand tailings dewatering offering with new ‘innovative’ solution

As the Global Tailings Review prepares to issue a new industry standard in 2020, Weir Minerals has chosen now to examine the subject of dewatering tailings.

The company, already offering solutions to help dewater tailings, says it is developing an “innovative tailings dewatering solution” to allow operators to pump slurry containing an extremely high percentage of solids. It says it plans to launch the new technology in 2020.

Mike Swintak, Regional Senior Product Manager for Weir Minerals, said dewatering tailings can be a difficult process, yet, when undertaken successfully, “it can deliver significant benefits to mine operators”.

The foremost benefit of dewatering tailings is the reduction of water that needs to be transported from a process plant to a tailings storage facility (TSF).

Reduced water content means tailings slurry volume is decreased, allowing for smaller pipelines and pumping equipment to be used. This can also minimise power requirements.

Thickened tailings and paste can improve the stability of TSFs and diminish their footprint. In some instances where existing TSF capacities are limited by regulatory or other environmental considerations, thickened tailings can help to extend the life of the mine, Weir says.

“Proper containment of tailings reduces the risk to people and the environment, and when decommissioning a mine, thickened tailings facilities are easier to rehabilitate,” the company added.

To a growing extent, thickened tailings are also used for underground mine backfill. This can increase productivity and reduce mine cycle times as well as surface TSF disposal volumes. Underground mining conditions can also be improved due to decreased water and slimes handling.

Important considerations and challenges

“When tailings are not properly managed, the results can be lethal. It is vital that mine operators have a clear understanding of key risks and considerations related to this process, in particular, tailings dewatering,” Swintak said.

Every mine site is different and subject to varying environmental, regulatory, capital and operating cost constraints.

Cost is a key consideration for many operators and can adversely affect the viability of a mine site, according to Weir. Therefore, it is necessary to implement a tailings management strategy that provides both reliability and value for money.

“Environmental limitations are also a major factor when establishing a TSF,” Weir says. “In parts of the world where there is challenging topography, such as mountainous regions or other environmentally sensitive landscapes, TSFs may need to be built further away from the process plant. This can result in slurry being transported across longer distances or higher elevations. Dewatering of tailings is a viable option in these scenarios as less slurry needs to be moved, in turn reducing operational costs.”

Some operations produce highly diluted tailings that require extensive dewatering to reach the desired level of thickness. Other slurries may contain extremely fine particle solids that are also difficult to manage. Large mine sites, or those with complex orebodies, can produce many types of tailings waste slurries, which may require varying methods of treatment.

“Across this multitude of situations, the operator must determine all associated costs and assess the level of dewatering required to confirm the most suitable solution for their site,” Weir says.

“While some mines are in a position to increase the size of their TSFs, many are not, and must implement a viable dewatering process, which can involve significant capital expenditure.”

If dewatering tailings to the highest possible degree, operators also need to develop a suitable strategy for transporting the waste material. Tailings that are too thick to be pumped may need to be transported by either a conveyor system or truck.

Finally, when a mine site reaches the end of its life and moves into the decommissioning phase, TSFs must be dealt with in accordance with regulatory and legislative requirements. As many mine sites need to be rehabilitated and restored to a natural state, a key benefit of producing thickened tailings is its ability to be covered with overburden and re-planted with suitable vegetation.

Weir Minerals offering

“Weir Minerals realises dewatering tailings can be a daunting process for many operators,” it says. “In order to provide the highest level of support and service, the company has invested heavily in its tailings management capabilities. More than just a supplier, every mine site is assessed on a case by case basis to provide a complete tailings dewatering system customised to the customer’s applications and constraints.”

Swintak added: “From developing flow sheets and process requirements to supplying equipment including dewatering systems incorporating our Isodry thickeners and filters, Multiflo floating and mobile pump systems for use on tailings ponds, or GEHO positive displacement pumps capable of transporting high density slurries up to 200 km, we provide customers with peace of mind through our tailings solutions.”

A key point of difference, according to Weir, is the intensive pilot plant testing Weir Minerals can perform at the Weir Technical Centre in Australia. This facility is designed to test tailings samples from around the world to help ascertain the best way to process them in line with the customer’s requirements. Testing is conducted using thickeners/clarifiers, hydrocyclones, filters and centrifuges, as well as a comprehensive pipe loop facility for determining high density slurry pipeline design.

Weir Minerals can also conduct testing at customer mine sites to assess the viability of various tailings management strategies.

As the mining industry gains a better understanding of tailings, it is vital new and improved methods of containment and storage are developed.

“Weir Minerals believes that the dewatering of tailings has a fundamental role to play in this, and continues to push the boundaries of possibility,” it said.

Weir GEHO pumps keep up the pressure at SIMEC’s Whyalla steelworks

Weir Minerals’ GEHO® positive displacement pumps are helping SIMEC Mining keep up its production goals at the Whyalla steelworks in South Australia.

SIMEC produces iron ore concentrate for the steelworks from a 10 Mt/y iron ore mine in the Middleback Ranges of South Australia, with the GEHO pump’s responsible for transporting the slurry 67 km from the plant to Whyalla, where it is then dewatered and converted to pellets for the steelmaking process. SIMEC has two GEHO PD pumps on site, which, through high pressure pumping, ensure the material stays suspended in the pipeline throughout the journey.

“The GEHO pumps transport the slurry about 250 cubic metres an hour, 300 tonnes an hour into town,” Chris Stanton, Senior Process Engineer, SIMEC Mining, said. “They run every day, all day and are very powerful pumps. They have defined maintenance intervals that allow us to run each pump for the nominal amount of time without any risk of breakdown.”

As the pumps are critical for both the plant and steelworks, it’s crucial they are well maintained to continue to perform year after year. This is made possible through the close partnership between Weir Minerals and SIMEC Mining, according to Weir.

Anthony Sheely, Concentrator Operations Coordinator, SIMEC Mining, said: “If the GEHO pumps didn’t operate properly then the pipeline would be at risk, and that would be a major issue as the pipeline is the lifeblood for both our operation and the entire township of Whyalla.”

Pumping long distance is a critical requirement at many mines around the world, but often comes with challenges and key design considerations that operators must be mindful of.

Peter Thissen, Global Product Manager for GEHO pumps at Weir Minerals, said: “The biggest challenge of long-distance pumping is generating slurry with a suitable particle size distribution for the application. Operators must concentrate the particle size distribution to make it a pumpable slurry whilst trying to minimise the amount of water used in the process.”

He added: “We deal predominantly with high solids concentrations, which is becoming more important in both a water constrained and environmentally sensitive industry. Our depth of experience and knowledge together with the delivery of innovative designs has provided effective solutions to meet our customers’ needs around the world.”

Designing a pipeline like the one for Whyalla is a complex balancing act between the rate of flow, the concentration of slurry and the size of particles, according to Weir. For solids in slurry to remain in suspension, they need to be moved by the liquid at a minimum velocity.

Another challenge operators are faced with is the pipeline route. This must be the most economic means of transportation and suitable for the flow behaviour of the material.

Thissen says: “It’s much easier to build a pipeline on flat land as it stays horizontal and the operational condition for the materials is constant, as long as we can keep the particles in suspension. However, if we have to cross rivers, mountains or valleys then the pipeline will be built on an angle and great consideration must be given to the design of the pipeline, transport velocities and starting and stopping the pipeline.”

Weir Minerals’ GEHO crankshaft driven pumps are among the world’s most advanced positive displacement pumps, according to Weir. They are designed to transport slurry over long distances, reaching up to 550 km and more than 2,000 m uphill.

Thissen says: “Our GEHO pumps are designed to handle high-density slurry with solids up to 85%. With extremely high availability, low energy consumption and operating costs they ensure uninterrupted, trouble-free operation.”

The diaphragm in the pump separates the abrasive slurry from the operating components, with the exception of the valves, protecting them from wear and ultimately prolonging the life of the pump, according to Weir.

“What this means for the operator is significant savings for wear parts, resulting in a very economic and extremely reliable product for pipeline transportation,” Weir said. “If maintained properly the GEHO pumps continue to run year after year, 24 hours a day; with references of GEHO pumps in operation for 30+ years.”

Thissen concluded: “As long as the make-up of the slurry doesn’t change and pumping conditions remain the same, our GEHO pumps will continue to operate indefinitely. Combined with long maintenance intervals and highly dedicated service engineers, they keep processing plants operating at peak performance while delivering a low total cost of ownership.”

Weir secures largest-ever individual mining order from Fortescue

The Weir Group says it has been awarded a £100 million ($123 million) order to provide industry-leading energy saving solutions to the Iron Bridge magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group and Formosa Steel IB.

The order, which includes a range of Weir crushing and pump equipment including Enduron® high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs) and GEHO® pumps, will reduce energy consumption and wet tailings waste by more than 30% compared with traditional mining technologies, according to the equipment manufacturer.

The Iron Bridge project, 145 km south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, is a $2.6 billion investment in premium magnetite iron ore reserves with annual production, when the mine is fully operational, of 22 Mt/y of 67% Fe concentrate. Delivery of the first ore is expected in 2022.

When the mine build was approved back in April, Fortescue CEO, Elizabeth Gaines, said the innovative design for the project, which included the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit, “will deliver an industry-leading energy efficient operation with globally competitive capital intensity and operating costs”.

A pilot project to verify the Iron Bridge project design involved processing 1 Mt of ore through a full scale HPGR and air classifier, according to Fortescue.

Weir Group Chief Executive Officer, Jon Stanton, said: “We are delighted to have secured this landmark contract, which is Weir’s largest-ever individual mining order.

“Fortescue challenged us to help create one of the most energy and cost-efficient magnetite ore processing facilities in the world. Our engineers have worked relentlessly to design a solution that is truly innovative – delivering significant energy, water and cost savings. This is a great example of working in close partnership with an ambitious customer who shares our passion for using innovative engineering to make mining more productive and sustainable.”

Ricardo Garib, President of the Weir Minerals division, added: “Our team are really enjoying working with Fortescue. Our engineers relish a challenge and it has been great to work on a project that demonstrates the substantial cost and environmental savings that our range of solutions can offer.

“As more mines look to increase productivity, we look forward to even more opportunities to leverage our combination of passionate people, innovative solutions and comprehensive global service capability.”

Weir’s Enduron HPGRs are increasingly replacing conventional mills in comminution (crushing, screening and grinding) circuits because of their substantially lower energy consumption and potential for significant total cost of ownership reduction, Weir says.

“Not only do they require as much as 40% less energy than traditional alternatives, but their wearable components last much longer and the maintenance time required to replace worn out parts is significantly lower.”

The company outlined the reasons why companies are turning to Enduron HPGRs in a blog post earlier this week.