Tag Archives: mining pumps

Weir’s Warman MCR pump more than doubles wear life at Agnico’s LaRonde mine

The superiority of genuine Warman® pumps and parts has been proven in a trial comparing the performance of a Warman MCR® 250 pump with a Warman AH® pump fitted with non-genuine spare parts at Agnico Eagle Mines’ LaRonde gold mine in Quebec, Canada, Weir Minerals says.

The mine had been using two Warman AH 12/10 slurry pumps to manage its SAG mill discharge since operations commenced in 1988. While these pumps were the latest technology at the time, the very coarse slurry was causing the pumps to wear out after just 1,600 hours, according to Weir.

“When a replicator proposed a trial of non-OEM pump liners and parts instead of our genuine Warman parts, they promised to double the wear life of the existing pump components,” Mike Swintak, Regional Senior Product Manager for Weir Minerals, said. “Our engineers investigated the root cause of the wear life problems experienced and decided a Warman MCR pump would achieve much better results compared to the AH pump with non-OEM parts.”

Instead of doubling it, the other manufacturer’s liners and impellers decreased the pump’s wear life by 300 hours, wearing out after just 1,300 hours. In addition to requiring six rebuilds per year, the non-genuine parts interrupted production due to discovery of premature cracks in the liner, Weir said.

Meanwhile, the Warman MCR 250 pump achieved 3,000 hours of continuous operation, requiring only three rebuilds and lowered spare parts costs alone by 36%, or $70,000 per year.

Swintak said: “The fantastic results achieved at LaRonde weren’t just due to the superior wear resistance offered by the pump’s Ultrachrome A05 wear material and superior hydraulic design of the MCR pump. Our engineers worked closely with Agnico Eagle operators to remove problems throughout the circuit contributing to the low wear life being achieved, such as revising their pump box level control procedures and monitoring system to ensure a constant level of 50-75%.”

Babylon adds to pump rental capacity with Trico agreement

Babylon Pump & Power Ltd says it will expand its rental fleet of pumps through an unconditional agreement for the acquisition of assets from Tilbrook Ryder Investments Company Pty Ltd (Trico).

The transaction, expected to complete on October 1, 2020, will be funded by a cash payment of A$750,000 ($537,817) from existing asset finance facilities and issuance of just over 7 million fully paid shares in line with Babylon’s placement capacity, it said.

“The assets are a valuable addition to Babylon’s existing rental fleet, providing quality pumping assets for immediate use that are traditionally long lead items from OEMs,” it said.

The rental and workshop assets include two Multiflo RF-420EXHV dewatering pumps, multiple other skid-based pump units, ancillary rental equipment to facilitate pumping projects and workshop ancillary equipment to support continued growth, Babylon added.

“Trico’s fleet provides immediate opportunities to increase rental revenue in Western Australia as well as providing assets which can be used in the Queensland rental market as rental activity progresses in Babylon’s Mackay based operating entity, Primepower Qld,” the company said.

The transaction will result in entities controlled by the founders of Trico becoming shareholders in Babylon and the consideration shares will be subject to a one-year voluntary escrow, Babylon explained.

Babylon Executive Chairman, Michael Shelby, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to purchase quality long lead assets at a discount to replacement value. We are confident the assets will be deployed immediately, and on attractive rentals that will deliver a rapid payback of their acquisition cost.

“I am equally excited to have the founders of Trico, Tony Ryder and Dave Tilbrook, as supportive shareholders of Babylon. Both founders have many years of experience in the pump rental and heavy equipment industry and have the ability to offer valuable support and industry insight to Babylon as a rapidly growing company in this sector.”

Tsurumi ups the slurry pumping ante with GPN 837

Tsurumi has released a new heavy-duty slurry pump that, it says, almost doubles the output of its predecessor pumps.

Coming with a water output of up to 9,000 litres/min, the new GPN 837 is the top model in the series, topping the GPN 622.

“However, ‘water’ can hardly be taken literally: declared as a “heavy sand pump”, the GPN 837 is intended for use wherever considerable amounts of solid matter are involved,” the company says.

This includes gravel pits or where sand, sludge, slurry and preferably also bentonite are involved. Mining is also a target market.

With these applications in mind, the engineers designed the pump with a solid construction. At 150 litres/s, hard rock up to 30 mm in size can pass through the pump with ease. Also, the agitator at the suction opening mixes mud and water so that the solution becomes more fluid.

The pump comes with a dry weight of 815 kg, a height of roughly one meter, is driven by an electric motor with 37 kW (400 V) and can pump vertically up to 24 m. When submerged, it is pressure-resistant to a depth of 30 m, the company says.

The water is diverted in a spiral around the pump – a design to counter the high abrasive effect of the pumped medium – while the impeller and suction plate is made of chrome cast iron, the housing of grey cast iron GG 20. For critical elements such as the double inside mechanical seal, the manufacturer uses silicon carbide. Tsurumi´s oil lifter, which lubricates the pump shaft in any position reliably by centrifugal force, is also a feature.

Thompson expands rotary pump dewatering capabilities with 6RW

Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company recently released a new diesel-powered dewatering pump that, it says, features high air handling and large water volume capabilities.

USA-based Thompson is a leading manufacturers of heavy-duty portable diesel-powered bypass and dewatering pumps,. The company debuted its 6 in (152 mm) rotary wellpoint 6RW-DIS-4LE2T-X pump  at this year’s CONEXPO-Con/AGG trade show in Las Vegas, held in March.

The Thompson Pump rotary wellpoint pumps are the ‘original’ rotary wellpoint pumps designed by co-founder, George Thompson, the company says.

“With unassisted priming and automatic re-priming, the 6RW pump features high air handling and large water volume capabilities – up to 1,400 gallons per minute (5,300 litres per minute) and heads up to 80 ft (24.4 m); operating speeds up to 2,000 rpm; and a low horsepower engine for better fuel efficiency – an EPA Final Tier 4 Isuzu engine (model: 4LE2T), with diesel oxidation catalyst after treatment,” the company said.

The 6RW pump, which adds to the 8RW and 12RW pumps in this family, is designed for wellpoint and sock dewatering applications, and can be used in place of a comparable 6 in vacuum or piston pump, making it a cost-effective dewatering option, according to the company. It is equipped with abrasion and corrosion resistant parts, polyurethane rotors, and stainless steel wear plates that can handle intense industrial and plant applications.

Chris Thompson, President of Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company, said: “This 6 in version was created, in part, due to the high demand to expand the rotary pump family’s dewatering capabilities.”

Metso and Outotec establish business areas and leaders ahead of merger completion

With Metso and Outotec having recently cleared one of the final remaining hurdles towards merging the two companies, the future Metso Outotec Board of Directors has laid out the planned company structure and related executive team appointments.

The nominations will become effective after the closing of the partial demerger of Metso and the combination of Metso’s Minerals business and Outotec, which is currently expected to take place on June 30, 2020, subject to receipt of all required regulatory and other approvals, including competition clearances – which the companies made significant headway on recently.

The companies said: “Combined, the future Metso Outotec will be a forerunner in sustainable technologies, end-to-end solutions and services for the minerals processing, aggregates, metals refining and recycling industries globally. The new organisation is designed to leverage the strengths and expertise of both companies.”

Metso Outotec will consist of the following six business areas:

  • Aggregates, providing crushing and screening equipment for the production of aggregates;
  • Minerals, providing equipment and full plant solutions for minerals processing, covering comminution, separation and pumps;
  • Metals, providing processing solutions and equipment for metals refining and chemical processing;
  • Recycling, providing equipment and services for metal and waste recycling;
  • Services, providing spare parts, refurbishments and professional services for mining, metals and aggregates customers; and
  • Consumables, providing a comprehensive offering of wear parts for mining, metals and aggregates processes.

The boards have also made some significant decisions on the key personnel that will lead these business units.

Markku Simula will become President of the Aggregates business unit. Simula currently serves as President, Aggregates Equipment at Metso.

Recently appointed Metso Mining Equipment President, Stephan Kirsch, will become President of the combined Minerals business area.

Jari Ålgars, currently CFO at Outotec, will become President of Metals.

Uffe Hansen, who is currently President of Recycling at Metso, will become President of Recycling at Metso Outotec.

Metso’s Sami Takaluoma will retain his President of the Consumables business area post at the new merged entity.

Markku Teräsvasara, who currently serves as the President and CEO at Outotec, will take on the President, Services and Deputy CEO role at Metso Outotec.

In addition to the business area president appointments, the following function heads and executive team members have been appointed:

  • Eeva Sipilä, CFO and Deputy CEO. Her appointment was announced on July 4, 2019. She currently serves as the CFO and Deputy CEO at Metso;
  • Nina Kiviranta, General Counsel. She currently serves as General Counsel at Outotec;
  • Piia Karhu, Senior Vice President, Business Development. She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Customer Experience at Finnair. She will join the company on July 1, 2020; and
  • Hannele Järvistö, Senior Vice President, Human Resources (interim). She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Human Resources (interim) at Metso. “This appointment is valid until a new position-holder has been selected and will start in this role,” the company said.

All the function heads and executive team members will report to Metso Outotec’s future President and CEO, Pekka Vauramo (pictured), the company said.

Reflecting on these changes, Vauramo said: “Above all, Metso Outotec will be strong in sustainability. Our extensive combined offering for minerals processing, from equipment to a broad range of services, will help our customers improve their profitability and lower their operating costs and risks, while at the same time reduce the consumption of energy and water.

“We at Metso Outotec understand our customer’s world and the daily challenges they face. Together, we will partner for positive change.”

Atlas Copco tackles sludge with new WEDA submersible dewatering pump

Atlas Copco has developed a new addition to its WEDA submersible dewatering pump range specifically designed for thick, soft, wet mud, and other similar mixtures.

The WEDA S50 fits into the S family of WEDA sludge pumps, complementing the other units in the range, in terms of specifications, the company said.

“These pumps are ideally suited for construction dewatering, industrial or refining applications,” Atlas Copco said. The technical specifications of the new S50 model place it between the S30 and the S60 pumps, offering a maximum flow of 1,450 l/min while pumping sludge with a specific gravity of up to 1,400 kg/m3. The S50 has a rated output of 4.8 kW and a maximum solids handling size of 50 mm, which is the same as both the S30 and S60 models, according to Atlas Copco.

Hrishikesh Kulkarni, Product Manager, Atlas Copco Power and Flow division, said: “The WEDA S50 is an ideal pump for rental companies and general contractors where they don’t have to worry about what goes in the pump.

“Accordingly, these vortex designed pumps are ideal for abrasive media and handling solids up to 50 mm. The S50 fits neatly into the existing range of sludge pumps, making our S family portfolio complete with a range from 0.5-1-3-5 and 7.5 kW.”

The sludge portfolio covers a wide range of applications such as cement plants, industrial process water, sedimentation tanks, treatment plants, construction sites, etc, Atlas Copco said.

The WEDA S50 comes with the standard WEDA+ features, including rotation control, phase failure protection, thermal switches in each motor winding, and 16 Amp phase shifter plugs. All WEDA+ pumps are fitted with a 20 m cable, with the reinforced cable entries ensuring high resistance to water leakage.

Atlas Copco said: “S50 pumps are built with hardened high-chrome impellers and volute, which provides high wear resistance. The aluminium alloy construction also offers high corrosion resistance. All these features combine to ensure durability and reliability in harsh environments.”

Low weight materials have the extra benefit of making handling and transportation easy, according to the company, meaning the new S50 is an attractive option for rental use.

For extra protection, the casing rib design offers external cooling to the motor in case of dry running.

WEDA seal systems, meanwhile, have a unique modular design, thus allowing for flexibility and ease of maintenance. “Service technicians can change S50 seals at the job site with minimum impact on pump availability,” the company said. “The pump has an external oil inspection plug making it a simple maintenance task to perform quick inspections.”

The S50 base is designed for stability while the bottom side discharge allows the passage of solids up to 50 mm. It offers several options and sizes for connections, and flow direction is changeable from 90° to 180° on the discharge.

Weir Minerals bolsters Lewis pumps, valves range

Weir Minerals has made three new additions to its Lewis® range of pumps and valves for the sulphur, sulphuric and phosphoric acid industries.

The release of the Lewis VL Axial Pump, Lewis Horizontal Process Pump and Lewis Vertical High Pressure Molten Salt Pump marks a new chapter in the brand’s history of innovative product and material engineering, it said.

The three pumps have been designed to maximise wear life in some of the world’s most corrosive industrial applications while simplifying maintenance through their streamlined designs, according to Weir. This has significantly reduced the number of parts compared with previous pumps, without compromising their performance, it says.

Jerry Ernsky, Lewis Product Manager, Weir Minerals, said: “Although they’re designed to address different challenges, these three new pumps were guided by the same core design principles: using advances in material technology to achieve increased performance and wear life, while reducing complexity to simplify equipment maintenance and give us the flexibility to deliver more engineered to order features that benefit our customers.

“Fundamentally, Weir Minerals is in the business of solving tenacious problems that interfere with our customers’ operations, which is why every step of our product development is guided by our customers’ key challenges.”

The new Lewis horizontal process pump combines the long-lasting corrosion and wear resistance of Lewmet® alloys with the robust performance, efficiency and ease of maintenance associated with centrifugal pumps, Weir said.

“This single stage, end suction horizontal process pump is the product of years of experience and research, which perfectly complements the existing range of Lewis vertical acid pumps and valves,” the company added.

According to Ernsky, the pump is suitable for a wide variety of chemical processing applications, offering efficient performance and superior wear resistance to the growing number of acid plants and fertiliser complexes operating around the world.

“Our engineered to order horizontal pumps are customised to support our customers’ goals of reducing plant maintenance and achieving a lower total cost of ownership,” he said.

The new Lewis VL Axial Flow Pump offers heavy duty construction ideal for use in corrosive, high temperature chemical processing applications, such as evaporator and crystalliser circulation, according to Weir. Its design is highly flexible and can be customised to suit a wide variety of industrial applications, while its low component count makes servicing quicker and easier, the company said.

The Lewis Vertical High Pressure Molten Salt Pump has been designed to meet the needs of the burgeoning concentrated solar power industry, Weir said. This multi-stage vertical turbine pump can handle the multifaceted challenges that come with the extremely high pressures and temperatures associated with pumping molten salt for thermal energy storage, according to the company.

ABEL hydraulic diaphragm pumps reduce opex at Latin America copper mine

ABEL has come to the rescue of a copper operation in Latin America looking for a robust and long-term pumping solution to cope with varying and abrasive slurry from its concentrate operation.

The company supplied ABEL HM hydraulic diaphragm pumps in the process circuit to handle the underflow from the thickener at this operation. This stream had a solid content of 58-72% (by weight), along with an abrasive material both difficult to handle and pump.

ABEL said: “Due to these properties, the equipment used for transferring these materials acquires a high level of wear, unexpected downtimes, unscheduled maintenance, etc. These are costs that the mining industry cannot accept.”

Originally, two centrifugal pumps were installed in an unconventional way to perform the required task at the operation. “Centrifugal pumps are designed for specific conditions which generally never occur given that the operating flow and the solid content of the materials being transferred vary during operation due to pressure fluctuations in other phases of the process,” ABEL said. “In such circumstances, this type of technology sees its performance dramatically reduced, which directly impacts the pumps’ output, causes product recirculation and frequent downtime of the related production line.”

Experiencing such circumstances, the copper miner was obliged to look for a solution that would immediately tackle the challenges and resolve the problems of this specific application, according to ABEL.

The ABEL HM hydraulic diaphragm pumps installed use piston-diaphragm pump technology and, therefore, can be operated for one year under the described conditions without requiring any preventive or corrective maintenance, according to ABEL.

They have a performance range of up to 100 m³/h and 10 MPa; can transfer media with a solid content of up to 75%; have extra-large suction valves for a high degree of volumetric efficiency; are equipped with a pre-formed diaphragm to improve pumping efficiency, durability and availability of the equipment; have constant operating flow, independent from the discharge pressure, which is mainly influenced by fluctuations of solid contents; and the strokes per minute are low and ensure a low mechanic wear.

“Thanks to these properties and design, the pumping equipment offers a long useful life and satisfies the requirements and the needs of the mining industry perfectly,” the company said.

ABEL concluded: “The pressure ranges handled by the pumps of the HM series provide for an optimum process design. HM pumps contribute to the success of the mining plant with significantly lower pumping costs thanks to the very low maintenance required, lower electric energy consumptions and high levels of availability.”

Weir Minerals confronts froth pumping problems

As miners look to reclaim more minerals from the flotation process through froth pumping they are potentially exacerbating existing problems in their circuit design, according to Les Harvey, Regional Product Manager for Slurry Pumps at Weir Minerals.

Mining companies are making these moves to counteract declining ore grades, but, occasionally these techniques are deployed without making allowances for the design of the mine’s froth pumping equipment.

Froth pumping remains one of the most complex engineering challenges in minerals processing, as air management issues in the hopper, sump and pump itself lead to inefficient pumping, increased maintenance and even lost product, according to Weir.

“We’ve started to notice a pattern among our customers who are having trouble with their froth pumps,” says Harvey. “By using more flocculants and other chemicals designed to improve mineral recovery, they’re exacerbating existing problems in circuit design and reducing the returns they’re looking for.”

Close examination of the froth’s makeup and physical qualities is often needed to resolve issues. Ensuring operators’ froth handling equipment adheres to best design practices is an important first step in resolving problems, according to Weir.

Maintaining pressure in the pump

The key challenge in froth pumping is dealing with air in the pump itself, as it tends to naturally centrifuge into the impeller’s eye where it builds up into an ‘air lock’ which impedes the movement of slurry through the pump, Weir said.

In addition to reducing the pump’s efficiency, the air build up in the pump will reduce the flow through the pump and increase the slurry level in the suction hopper. The increased slurry level may push the pocket of air through the pump, causing surging and excessive vibration which can damage the pump bearings, impeller and shaft.

“The best way to manage air in a froth pump is to invest in a froth pump with a Continuous Air Removal System (CARS), which we have in our Warman AHF, MF and LF pumps,” Harvey says.

CARS allows air to move from the pump’s impeller eye to an air collection chamber in the back through a vent hole in the impeller. From that chamber, a flow inducer removes the air from the pump through a vent pipe.

Harvey said: “It’s also important to position the pump’s discharge pipe at the top of the pump, or at a 45° angle as this will give air trapped at the top of the casing a way to escape the pump.”

Solving problems in the sump and hopper

A persistent problem Weir sees is when hoppers designed to meet the demands of slurry pumping are used in a froth pumping application, Harvey said. “Slurry hoppers require turbulence to prevent the mineral content from settling, while turbulence in a froth pump prevents the air from escaping and leads to blockages.”

Tanks designed for froth pumping promote continuous circular movement, where solids and liquids are sent to the outside of the sump for further transport while air centrifuges into the centre where it can be removed. This ‘whirlpool’ movement can be encouraged by introducing the slurry from the top of the tank at a tangential angle, according to Weir.

Conical designs, rather than those with a flat or rounded floor, further improve the flow of minerals and froth into the pump, the company added.

Smooth sailing from the tank to the pump

To prevent blockages, the intake pipe which links the tank to the pump should be large diameter and slope downwards towards the pump, according to Weir. This design allows escaped air to separate and travel back up the pipe where it can escape from the sump, rather than build up into blockages.

Harvey said: “The shorter your intake pipe, the harder it is for blockages to build up. However, in addition to a maintenance spool and isolation valve, it’s a good idea to leave enough space for a water injection port, which is useful for flushing out any solids build up.

“To make maintenance easier, a dump valve can be included on the suction side of the pump, between the pump and the isolation valve. This will allow you to drain slurry from the pump and discharge pipe system when stopping the pump for maintenance.”

Understanding tenacious froths

Froths are often classified as either brittle – with large air bubbles that break easily – or tenacious – where air forms tight bubbles around minerals and is difficult to separate. Froth being more tenacious than was accounted for is a frequent cause of blockages as air cannot effectively be removed, Weir says.

Harvey said two things are happening in the market today: One, mine operators are grinding the product much finer than before to liberate more from the waste rock. Two, they’re using flocculants that produce much smaller bubbles which lock up the air a lot more than brittle froths.

“We’re working together with customers to find ways to manage these more tenacious froths, by looking at their circuit design and dealing with areas where the air could accumulate and block the system, paying particular attention to their pumps, pipes and sumps,” he said.

Babylon Pump & Power adds Queensland hub to Western Australia base

Babylon Pump & Power has established a rental service base on the East Coast of Australia with the completion of its acquisition of Primepower Queensland.

The company announced the deal with the leading diesel engine specialist back on July 26, saying it would pay for the company with a mixture of cash, shares, delayed performance payments and assumption of debt.

Primepower was founded in Mackay, Queensland, in 2004, and has a client base including Peabody, Fortescue Metals Group, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, Anglo American, Wesfarmers and Minerva.

The Primepower buy, according to Babylon, offers:

  • Geographic and technical expansion;
  • Diversification of commodity exposure;
  • Purchasing power and contract synergies;
  • East coast platform to introduce rental services; and
  • Workshop flexibility with no additional corporate overhead.

Post-acquisition, Babylon will be one of the largest independent and diversified engine re-builders in Australia, poised for growth in specialist rental nationally, with a focus on Australia’s two key mining states, Western Australia and Queensland, the company said.