Tag Archives: pumping

RMI China conducts local pump system upgrades for mines

High pressure reciprocating pump specialist RMI Pump Systems says it has recently completed two comprehensive equipment overhauls and upgrades locally for mining customers in China.

According to Sabrina Zhang, General Manager of RMI China, a full system upgrade was just delivered to Shennan Industry’s Xiaobaodang mine, which comprised an Grade B overhaul. The system included RMI’s Quinmax emulsion pump station, Trimax water pump station and a control system. The second contract – for the Hanglaiwan mine in Shaanxi Province of China – included multiple pumps and related equipment.

Both upgrades were conducted in RMI’s MA-accredited factory and workshop in Shanghai. There have been two RMI emulsion/water systems in operation at Hanglaiwan mine, with the upgraded system having been initially installed at the mine in 2021.

According to Zhang, RMI conducted Grade A and B upgrades for Hanglaiwan on five of RMI’s Quinmax pumps, three of its S300 water pumps and one S300 high set. This followed a complete strip-down and assessment at RMI’s Shanghai facility.

“Our innovative maintenance schedules help customers to improve performance and reliability,” Zhang said. “Over a typical six-year cycle, RMI recommends three different grades of overhauls or upgrades.”

While the Grade A intervention is recommended at the end of the first and second years, the Grade B upgrade is recommended after three years – and comprises a full rebuild. Over the following two years, Grade A upgrades should again be conducted, with a Grade C upgrade – also an intensive rebuild – after the sixth year.

“Adhering to our tried-and-tested overhaul and upgrade methodology, customers can ensure that their pump systems operate consistently at peak performance,” she said.

Both contracts included the overhauling of the system’s control units. RMI’s in-house control engineer repairs the control units and works in collaboration with subcontractors to service the MMS control boards, power units, display units, etc.

After the completion of the upgrade, the equipment was dispatched in the last week of April to the mine. The units are to be transported by 17 m truck over a distance of almost 1,700 km to the mine site.

RMI, which has been designing, manufacturing and supporting its high pressure and high volume fluid pumping stations for over a century, has served the mining sector in China for more than 30 years. The company’s certified manufacturing facility in Shanghai – owned by RMI’s holding company Armstrong Fluid Technologies – can produce and service 15 different models of high pressure pump, according to Zhang. The facility has also enhanced the local availability of RMI’s genuine spare parts.

“This gives our customers in China fast access to our components – which is a cornerstone of our localisation strategy in China,” she said. “In times of emergency, parts can now be delivered to customers as quickly as three to four days. We also have technical service centres close to the main mining areas, allowing technical service engineers to reach customers within two hours.”

Weir Minerals’s Essack on end-to-end tailings and pipeline solutions

As mining companies’ tailings facilities continue to be scrutinised by regulators and non-governmental organisations, Weir Minerals Africa Process Manager, Hoosen Essack, has talked up the need for tailored tailings solutions for the future.

Combined with the stringent accountability that mine operators have to local communities, tailings management is now a significant consideration, with processing requirements and technology changing rapidly. Traditionally involved in the pumping of tailings, at Weir Minerals we have extended our expertise into this area to encompass the entire tailings process. From dewatering to transport, disposal, and the conversion of tailings into a resource, we can provide customers with an end-to-end tailings and pipeline solution.

This holistic, solutions-based approach to tailings management strengthens our relationship with customers and adds value to their operation beyond pumping. In light of water conservation, operational sustainability and safe deposition of tailings, it’s important that we invest in this area to help solve crucial issues within the mining sector.

Our extension into the tailings processing field means we are now involved in the production of the material, as opposed to simply transporting it. Through extensive consultation, site visits and audits, our team ascertains the customer’s objectives and recommends a complete, optimal solution to meet their needs, which can include dewatering equipment, piping, pumps, valves and instrumentation.

This seamless approach is a departure from the traditional industry practice of sourcing components from multiple suppliers, which are challenging to integrate. Our extensive research and development capabilities means we can provide a wide spectrum of tailings management options not limited by a particular type of technology or equipment.

This involves assessing the variations in capital and operating expenditure along with the overall and long-term benefits of each, providing a truly customised solution. Prior to implementation, rigorous testing and trials are conducted to assess viability and performance ahead of final selection, detailed design and engineering, delivery and commissioning. Another key benefit to customers is the ability to transform tailings into products, which can safely be used by the mine, such as road construction material. This involves dewatering of tailings, in which we have extensive expertise.

Dewatering involves removing liquid from waste slurry so that the remaining solids can be deposited in a tailings storage facility or returned to the site from which it was mined as backfill. There are several dewatering methods to render waste slurry to differing degrees of dryness, ready for transport from the plant to the deposition site. Any liquid recovered through dewatering is returned for reuse in the process.

We can provide a variety of processing systems inclusive of equipment and infrastructure to achieve the final tailings product that is required by the customer, from thickening to create a paste, or applying a filter to produce a product which can be dry deposited. As tailings management evolves, the industry is moving towards the latter for increased safety and stability, and in the process maximising water recovery.

As mine operators become more vigilant in managing their tailings, new processing technology is continually developed, including at the Weir Technical Centre in Australia. Innovative, uniquely tailored solutions incorporating high performance equipment and a global service footprint means we are leading the industry in making tailings more sustainable. Ideally, this will lead to a future where tailings related hazards are a thing of the past.

Weighing up the total cost of ownership in mine slurry pump applications

Integrated Pump Technology is stressing to Africa-based mining companies the need to ensure high-quality OEM products are specified in any slurry pumping applications on mine sites.

If incorrect pump choices are made in these demanding applications, it can lead to high maintenance and repair costs and even catastrophic failures, according to the company.

Colin Adams, Managing Director of the distributor, says the company often receives enquiries from clients that have already made the mistake of trying to cut corners by using non-OEM, low-quality products.

“Slurry pumps need to be up to the task of handling high volumes of abrasive material, and when this is not the case these failures lead to costly production downtime with the obvious knock-on effects,” he said. “For a number of years, we have been cautioning the market and urging mine operators to carefully consider the overall total cost of operating slurry pumps when making decisions on which units to install.”

Integrated Pump Technology is the authorised distributor for Grindex submersible pumps. Included in its product lineup is the Grindex Bravo range, which Adams says, offer a good return on investment as the units are engineered to achieve lower operating and maintenance costs.

Commenting on why a submersible slurry pump is a better option for slurry pumping, Adams says submersibles offer several benefits over dry-mounted pumps. They do not require any support structure, need less space for operation and are very easy to install.

The Grindex Bravo range (pictured here) is produced to operate over the complete pump curve, not just one specific duty point, according to Integrated Pump Technology. This means the pump can be used in numerous applications within its range; not a case of “one pump – one application”.

Grindex Bravo pumps are fitted with a cooling jacket and agitator for effective slurry pumping. Pumps in the range can handle slurry and fluids with a high content of highly abrasive solids in sizes up to 50 mm at maximum heads from 17-45 m. Wear is reduced by using NiHard 4 for all hydraulic components, and these pumps can handle liquids with pH values from 4-10.

Adams also points to the high level of support available to customers across Africa through Integrated Pump Technology’s distributor network, which is underpinned by the company’s experienced technically competent African team. Ready access to parts also forms part of the support system, ensuring optimum uptime for customers.

Grundfos to premiere new CR inline multistage pumps at Electra Mining

Grundfos South Africa will have something new to show attendees at the upcoming Electra Mining exhibition in Johannesburg next month, with the launch of a new generation of its CR inline multistage pumps.

The Grundfos CR pumps will increase efficiency and maximum working pressure while almost doubling maximum flow to 320 m³/h, the company said.

Grundfos will also introduce three extra-large flow sizes based on extensive research, development and testing of new hydraulic designs. These have been engineered using state-of-the-art production methods, including a fully automated and flexible production line, it said.

Niren Rohanlal, Lead Business Development Manager at Grundfos, Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “The new CR will significantly move the limits for energy efficiency, which is extra-important when
you are working with large pumps. The increases to maximum working pressure and flow will also mean that the new generation can be used even more widely.”

The new 40 bar standard working pressure is suited to applications like filtration, reverse osmosis and boiler feed, Grundfos said. “And, with its increased 320 m³/h flow capacity, the CR will even be able to take on high-flow applications – such as large waterworks – which have until now been served by other pump designs,” the company added.

Grundfos will be unveiling the new generation of pumps at its stand, H31, in hall six of the Expo Centre Nasrec on September 11 at 11am.