Tag Archives: pumps

ALROSA looks to ABEL HM pumps for filter press feeding

Piston diaphragm pumps from ABEL are helping Russia’s ALROSA with its filtration process at one of its diamond mines in the country.

In Spring 2021, ABEL received an order for the delivery of six of these piston diaphragm pumps, HM pumps, following an initial HM pump order in 2020. This inaugural pump was delivered to ALROSA in February 2020 as replacement for a centrifugal pump previously used for filter press feeding. At the beginning of August, the ABEL pump was commissioned at the diamond producer’s plant. The dewatering result (higher solids content, shorter filtration time) was so convincing that ALROSA decided to feed all filter presses in this plant with the pumps, ABEL said.

The latest delivery is being facilitated by ABEL’s official distributor in Russia, SibComplectService.

ABEL’s HM pumps are available as single- or double-acting versions. They come with a high flow rate, reliable function and particularly low operating and maintenance costs, the company says.

In addition to filter press feeding, the hydraulic diaphragm pumps are also used for sludge transport, spray dryer feeding, rotary kiln feeding, autoclave feeding, and sealing/rinsing water supply, among other applications.

Anglo American pursues 3D printing of spare parts with CSIR and Ivaldi Group

Anglo American has partnered with the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and US-based technology company, Ivaldi Group, to explore opportunities to digitally distribute spare parts for mining and processing equipment to be manufactured locally using 3D printing.

The project includes an analysis of Anglo American’s inventory of spare parts, such as impellers for pumps, shaft sleeves, gasket bonnet valves, and mining rock drill bits, exploring the impact of adopting a digitally distributed supply chain, and then digitising, locally producing and testing these parts at Anglo American’s operations in South Africa, Anglo said.

This partnership is the latest manifestation of Anglo American’s Collaborative Regional Development (CRD) approach to helping create “thriving communities”, as part of the company’s Sustainable Mining Plan commitments.

“Through strategic partnerships, CRD aims to create long-term economic prosperity within Anglo American’s host communities and regions beyond the expected life of a mine,” the company said. “To that end, Anglo American launched the Impact Catalyst in 2019 together with its partners the CSIR, Exxaro, Zutari, World Vision SA and the provincial government of Limpopo.”

Matthew Chadwick, Head of Socio-Economic Development and Partnerships at Anglo American, said: “Our FutureSmart Mining™ approach to sustainable mining is presenting us with new and innovative opportunities to build thriving and resilient communities, now and into the future. Through partnerships like this one with CSIR and Ivaldi, we are re-imagining long-established norms to help deliver enduring value to society.

“The ability to send files – not physical spare parts – will reduce our carbon footprint, delivery lead times and logistics costs. Importantly, this has the clear potential to create industrial and service jobs for host communities and surrounding regions through on-demand manufacturing systems to produce spare parts locally.”

Espen Sivertsen, CEO of Ivaldi, said: “We believe that digital distribution of physical goods is a natural next step for the global spare parts supply chain. It is part of the fourth industrial revolution. Working with world-leading organisations like Anglo American and the CSIR, we are now practically demonstrating that there are significant savings for businesses and a net positive impact for the environment and associated communities.”

Charl Harding, CSIR’s Business Development Manager, added: “When we first explored this opportunity to develop sustainable local on-demand manufacturing solutions we saw an immediate fit with our additive manufacturing and materials expertise. The 3D printing of parts along with the application of additive manufacturing technologies to refurbish worn parts offers the potential to create local jobs, promote innovation for the inclusive and sustainable advancement of industry and society whilst responding critical issue of climate change.”

FLSmidth improves water balance at Mozambique coal plant with thickener tech

FLSmidth has been chosen as the preferred provider for four large bolted thickeners for a large mining customer in Mozambique.

Two of the thickeners are designed to reduce water load on the filters allowing for a drier filter product, while the other two thickeners recover water from the plant tailings.

The installation, which includes E-Volute™ feedwell technology for superior flow distribution, will contribute to achieving optimal water balance at the coal plant in Mozambique, FLSmidth says.

“The thickeners measure 45 m in diameter and will control the density of material to the belt filters, improving the plant’s output,” Howard Areington, FLSmidth’s General Manager for Projects and Account Sales in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, says. “The design was based on the test work we conducted on the customer’s material, allowing us to determine the best thickener solution.”

He emphasised that a bolted thickener is quicker and safer to construct on site, saving on costs and improving quality control; both of these factors suited the project’s remote location.

“The extent of welding in the construction of normal steel thickeners typically runs into kilometres,” Areington said. “By contrast, the amount of on-site welding required by a bolted thickener can be measured in metres.”

The E-Volute feedwell technology improves flow distribution, leading to lower flocculant consumption, better settling rates and improved overflow clarity for the optimal performance of the thickener, according to FLSmidth.

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, good progress was made on the fabrication of the thickeners in South Africa, according to FLSmidth Project Manager, Kevin Kockott. This has been managed by leveraging FLSmidth’s global resources and the design teams’ ability to work remotely.

“Our local South African office collaborated closely with our engineering hub in Salt Lake City in the United States, ensuring that our engineering work on the project was able to continue without interruption,” Kockott said.

FLSmidth has been involved with this project for almost a decade and has provided a significant portion of the coal preparation equipment. To date, this has included reflux classifier technology, pumps, screens and feeders.

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.

New Weir Minerals Sand Wash Plant to boost recoveries

Weir Minerals has released a complete sand wash solution that draws on its long experience in the sand and aggregate industry.

The Weir Minerals Sand Wash Plant comes with Linatex® lining, produces more saleable product than conventional sand screw plants, with fewer moving parts, and has an optimised process that produces a drier, higher-quality product with less fines, according to the company.

The solution has already proven effective at sites like Coimbatore Minerals in Tamil Nadu, India, Weir says, where a custom-built wash plant reduced its total cost of ownership by 51%, while offering a 23% reduction in fines that helped the company consistently meet the industry’s high standards for a saleable product.

Bruce Cooke, Global Product Manager – Sand Wash Plants for Weir, said: “We know the most important thing for quarry operators in washing is recovering as much sand as possible to maximise their sales, which is why we’ve designed an integrated solution for washing their product, with a hydrocyclone which can deliver greater recovery than sand screws. In addition, every component has been selected by our expert engineers for its long-service life, interoperability and ease of maintenance.”

The compact solution features a range of Weir Minerals equipment designed for high efficiency in sand and aggregate applications, including Warman® WGR pumps, Cavex® hydrocyclones, Enduron® dewatering screens, Linatex hoses and Isogate® knife gate valves.

The Warman WGR is a popular pump in the sand extraction industry, according to Weir, combining top of the line hydraulic design with an adjustable impeller, long bearing life and a simplified wet end, making replacement predictable and cost effective.

Precision moulded and lined, Linatex premium rubber is used for wear zones throughout the plant due to its proven wear performance in wet sand applications in operations around the world, Weir said.

Cavex hydrocyclones provide “exceptional classification efficiency” thanks to their unique 360° laminar spiral, delivering more saleable product than a sand screw solution would, the company said. Enduron dewatering screens, meanwhile, reliably separate product with a high degree of efficiency. And, finally, Isogate knife gate valves contribute to the plant’s straightforward maintenance.

Surendra Menon, President, Weir Minerals India, said: “For the new sand wash plant, we focused on making it quick and easy for quarry operators to get up and running. Its straightforward design means it can be assembled in just two days while its compact skids make it easy to drag into any operation.

“Efficient, reliable and easily integrated into flowsheets, we think the plant is a game changer for quarry owners.”

Metso reviewing Vereeniging operations in South Africa

Metso says it is initiating consultations to evaluate the potential closure or other alternatives for its operations in Vereeniging, South Africa.

The Vereeniging unit provides pumps, spare parts, consumables, and repair services for the mining industry and has around 200 employees, the company says.

The move is part of the global supply footprint development strategy in its Minerals operations. Similar reviews across regions in Metso’s Minerals Consumables business area have led to the closure of the rubber and poly-met wear parts manufacturing facility in Ersmark, Sweden, and a discontinuation of the Isithebe foundry in South Africa.

Sami Takaluoma, President, Minerals Consumables business area at Metso, said: “Our strategy is to utilise synergies of the most efficient manufacturing and sourcing opportunities globally. We are continuously developing our supply footprint to deliver the best value, availability and quality for our customers.”

Metso switches up pumps and mineral services heads following Keto’s departure

Metso has made changes to its minerals services and pumps business areas after Mikko Keto, President of the two segments, terminated his employment with the company.

Giuseppe Campanelli has been appointed President of the Minerals Services business area and a member of Metso’s Executive Team from January 2 onwards. Previously he has been a member of the Minerals Services business area management team heading Professional Services, according to Metso.

Kalle Sipilä has been appointed President of the Pumps business area and a member of Metso’s Executive Team, also from January 2. Sipilä was previously in charge of the Pumps business area (from an operational point of view) in addition to his role as head of Finance and Business Control of the Minerals Services business area.

Metso’s President and CEO, Pekka Vauramo, said: “I want to congratulate Giuseppe and Kalle for their appointments and wish them welcome in the Executive Team. At the same time, I want to thank Mikko for successfully driving profitable growth while heading the Minerals Services business area.”

Metso is currently going through the process of merging with Outotec in a transaction that will create a major mineral processing powerhouse.

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 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.