Tag Archives: pumps

Integrated Pump Rental up for southern Africa pit dewatering challenge

As open-pit mines continue to get deeper with the maturing of operations, pit dewatering is becoming more vital, with ground water not only posing an operational challenge but also a potential safety hazard if not attended to appropriately.

In this scenario, it is not a case of one pump fits all dewatering application requirements and it is advisable to deal with a reputable pump supplier to ensure the most appropriate solution is selected, according to Integrated Pump Rental.

Lee Vine, Managing Director of the company, said each application requires a site-specific solution.

“There are numerous options available in terms of the actual pump and ancillary equipment, as well as the choice between rental and outright purchase,” he says. “The differentiator that our team offers is the ability to assess a given application and provide a pit dewatering solution with the correctly sized pump.”

There are several factors that can have an impact on the pump selection, and this includes available power sources; the volume of water to be pumped; and the condition of the dirty water, including size and type of particles in the water.

“What adds complexity to pit dewatering applications is that, in many cases, the need to dewater a pit can be urgent and customers are forced into making an incorrect pump selection or tying themselves into a contract that does not work in the longer term,” Vine says.

While the decision to hire or purchase is an important commercial one, so is the actual selection of the pump itself, he said.

“If the pump is not sized correctly for the dewatering application at hand, it will not perform as required. This, in turn, leads to further operational challenges including production losses and sometimes even the need to change the pump resulting in further costs.”

One of the most important factors to consider is the available energy source. If there is no access to power, options such as diesel-driven or pumps fitted with hydraulic power packs must be explored.

When selecting the pump, it is also important to understand the specifics of the water ingress conditions and whether this is a long-term issue or simply a short-term challenge. This scenario will dictate the pump size, its rated output and what ancillary equipment is required.

As an example, Vine points to a recent dewatering application on a mine in Lesotho where a constant flow of water into the mine’s pit area demanded that water be urgently and reliably pumped out.

Over time the pit depth had increased, and the groundwater level had been exacerbated by the winter snowfall in the highlands of the country. As a result, the total dynamic head for the duties of the installed dewatering pump installation changes and the mine required an urgent solution.

Initially a Sykes XH150 diesel driven pump was deployed, pumping at 120 l/s at 150 m head. Subsequent to this, a second Sykes pump was dispatched to site to ensure the level of water remained at an acceptable level.

With the two Sykes pumps on site, the mine was assured of enough pumping capacity, should the groundwater level increase.

The call from this mine came in and, within 24 hours, the first Sykes pump was installed on site, according to Vine.

“This is very significant, when one considers that the mine is situation some 500 km from the company’s front door and across the border into a neighbouring country.”

Integrated Pump Rental not only rents out Sykes diesel driven pump sets, the company is also responsible for the sale of these dewatering pumps across southern Africa. The robust units are designed for reliable performance, under even the harshest operating conditions, according to the company.

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.

Vesconite water flingers seal the deal for mining pump manufacturer

Vesconite Bearings has come to the rescue of a southern Africa pump manufacturer looking to improve the performance of horizontal centrifugal pumps operating in mines across the continent.

The company has now received its order for Vesconite low-swell hard-wearing water-flinger polymer bearings for four of its pump sizes.

Vesconite Bearings said the manufacturer found its horizontal centrifugal pumps, as a result of high pressure, had a problem of water escaping from the gland packing – the material that should form a watertight seal around the shaft.

This resulted in dirty water being sprayed on to the non-drive-end bearing assembly and, in turn, seizure, failure, and a high maintenance and down-time cost to replace the bearing assembly.

“The manufacturer designed a water flinger (deflector) solution that would attach to the release collar on the shaft,”  Vesconite Bearings Technical Sales Consultant, Phillip de Villiers, said.

“This would mean that excess water from the gland packing would be deflected with the rotation of the shaft.”

However, the initial solution employed a phenolic laminated material, which was found to absorb water and delaminate.

To eliminate these problems, the company called on de Villiers, who suggested Vesconite as an alternative material that would not swell or delaminate and had the added advantage of being suitable in dirty environments because of its excellent wear-resistant properties.

“Samples were produced and tested and, proving successful, the manufacturer ordered water flingers of various designs for its different pump sizes,” de Villiers said. “The whole process from sample production to first order took three months.”

The pump manufacturer intends to use Vesconite water flingers in all of its pumps, which are used in a variety of applications, according to Vesconite Bearings.

It is active in a multitude of African countries, including South Africa, Zimbabwe and the DRC, in which some of the first Vesconite water flingers will be installed in a dewatering pump in a mine, Vesconite Bearings says.

Weir Minerals Africa optimising pump performance for filter presses

With mining companies focused on reducing and recycling as much water as possible while recovering valuable minerals and metals, filter presses are becoming a much more common sight in the concentration process.

Weir Minerals Africa says these “mission-critical” filter presses demand a carefully selected pump to ensure optimal performance and uptime.

Marnus Koorts, Product Manager for Slurry Pumps at Weir Minerals Africa, says the high pressures associated with operating a filter press often lead the pump to underperform.

“The operation of a filter press involves a wide spectrum of pressure and flow conditions within each cycle,” Koorts says. “This ranges from high-flow, low-pressure conditions when slurry is initially being pumped into the press, to low-flow and high pressure when full.”

He emphasises it is not enough to simply specify a pump for the average of this range of conditions. Rather, it is vital to establish the minimum and maximum values on the spectrum, and to specify accordingly.

“Filter presses in the market can demand pressures of up to 45 bar,” he says. “In many cases, therefore, the application requires high-pressure pumps such as the Warman AHPP high pressure range.” These pumps offer multi-stage high pressure operation to 1,000 psi and are used in slurry transportation and tailings management operations.

Koorts continued: “Where lower pressure requirements are present, the newer technology of the Warman WBH could be used as it is generally a more efficient pump with longer wear life of spare parts.” The Warman WBH pumps, also used in slurry transportation and tailings management applications, come with a wide variety of impellers and shaft seals and maintains efficiency through ‘one point adjustment’ during the wear cycle, according to Weir.

Failure of pumps to deliver enough pressure to a filter press results in the solid-liquid separation process being inefficient, according to Weir, with the selection of the right pump an important starting point in ensuring optimal operation.

The next key aspect of the customer’s selection, Koorts says, is the choice of sealing arrangement. This aspect of the pump can often lead to issues in the plant, when valuable product is lost through leakage.

“An expeller seal is not usually recommended, as the pressure it generates to seal the pump is generally not sufficient in a filter press application,” he said.

Weir said: “The stuffing box option can be used under certain conditions. However, the pressure of the surface water needs to be higher than the pressure inside the pump. This means that it would usually be suitable on a low-pressure pump for a low-pressure filter press.”

Koorts added: “When the filter press requires a higher pressure, then the plant will have to provide a water line with a higher pressure to feed the gland, or it will not seal properly.”

The preferred sealing option is a mechanical seal for these applications. While this is more costly, it offers substantial savings by preventing product being lost and downtime being incurred, according to Weir.

A further consideration is the level of corrosive aspects of trace elements in the slurry. This can lead to rapid corrosion of mild steel pumps. This is why many applications require stainless steel options.

Comprehensive technical backup needs to underpin each step in this process, Koorts said. For Weir Minerals Africa, this begins with its local manufacturing process, which includes foundries for casting components, through to local componentry manufacture and assembly capability.

“This quality control and capacity feeds into our spares availability and service exchanges for refurbished pumps,” he says. “The result is quick supply through our strategically located branch network with 12 offices in South Africa and eight through the rest of Africa.”

Babylon Pump’s business development efforts power up

Babylon Pump & Power Ltd has entered into a conditional agreement for the acquisition of diesel engine specialist Primepower Queensland for up to A$4.2 million ($2.9 million) in cash, shares, delayed performance payments and assumption of debt.

Mackay-based Primepower was founded in 2004 and is a specialist in Cummins engine repairs and rebuilds to the Queensland resources sector, Babylon said, with the acquisition complementing Babylon’s Western Australia-based diesel maintenance division and diesel generated power and pumping rental business.

The company has grown into a highly regarded specialist provider of diesel maintenance to the resources sector with a client base including Peabody, Fortescue Metals Group, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, Anglo American, Wesfarmers and Minerva, Babylon said. Primepower generated unaudited annual revenue of around A$9.1 million for the year to June 30, 2019, and adjusted net profit of some A$600,000.

“The acquisition is Babylon’s first move into the eastern states and forms part of the company’s growth strategy, and provides an ideal platform to expand Babylon’s successful specialty equipment rental business into the East Coast,” Babylon said.

The acquisition provides Babylon’s Diesel Maintenance division with extra scale, in addition to technical expertise in Cummins engines to complement its expertise in Caterpillar engines, Babylon Executive Chairman, Michael Shelby, said. “[It] will be the perfect springboard to introduce our power and pumping rental offering to the East Coast market,” Shelby said. “The acquisition also provides commodity diversity, exposure to a larger client base, many with national operations, and will deliver a step-change in our operating scale and revenue.”

Shelby hinted that this may not prove to be the end of the company’s M&A efforts.

“The resource services and related sectors remain very fragmented, and it has become apparent that there are a number further potential complimentary acquisitions and new business development opportunities available,” he said. “While focusing on its core business, it is Babylon’s intention to explore thoroughly opportunities to expand in conjunction with its strong organic business growth.”

The consideration is comprised of cash on completion of A$1.7 million (adjusted pro-rata for net assets), A$600,000 in Babylon shares, assumption of a A$500,000 trade finance facility, deferred consideration of A$1 million over two years (adjusted for net asset value), additional deferred consideration of A$500,000 conditional on a revenue requirement of A$8.9 million being met in the 2020 financial year.

The Primepower purchase will see Babylon acquire net assets including stock and work in progress of A$3.1 million, and goodwill and plant and equipment valued at A$1.1 million. As part of the deal, Primepower founder and owner, Michael Donegan, will also remain a Primepower executive for a minimum 12 months.

First Reserve becomes new owner of Weir’s Flow Control division

The Weir Group says it has completed the sale of its Flow Control division to First Reserve for an enterprise value of £275 million ($343 million).

The deal, which was first announced on February 25, completed on June 28, the company confirmed.

The Flow Control division primarily provides highly engineered pumps, valves and other solutions used in power, industrial and downstream oil and gas applications, according to Weir.

Back in February, the company said the sale would effectively strengthen its mining and oil & gas ties: “Once this transaction completes, on a pro forma basis, more than 80% of Weir’s revenues will be from attractive aftermarket-intensive mining and upstream oil and gas markets.”

Weir Group CEO, Jon Stanton, said: “The sale of the Flow Control division marks an important step in successfully delivering our strategy. It means Weir is now a more focused business with strong positions in premium upstream mining and oil and gas markets around the world.”

The £275 million enterprise value price is subject to customary working capital and debt-like adjustments, Weir clarified.

ABEL receives diaphragm pump order from Mexico miner

ABEL GmbH says it has received a large order for the delivery of 14 hydraulic diaphragm pumps from a Mexico mining company.

The Germany-based company received the order in March, with the pumps to be used for the transport of sulphuric acid-containing jarosite sludge in the course of zinc production.

ABEL explained: “The entire process of hydrometallurgical zinc extraction is also known as jarosite leaching. This process separates iron and zinc by chemical precipitation. This is the most used process of zinc production worldwide.”

Marthinusen & Coutts expertise keeps Africa mine pumping

Marthinusen & Coutts has come to the rescue of one of Africa’s wettest mines by rehabilitating medium voltage pump motors at the operation.

M&C’s Cleveland Engineering Services Division, a division of ACTOM (Pty) Ltd, recently teamed up with the Marthinusen & Coutts Kitwe facility, in Zambia, to carry out the work.

A pump original equipment manufacturer had approached M&C to assess several underground pump motors.

“There was an urgency to the situation due to the risk of flooding should there be any undue interruptions in pumping operations,” M&C, which calls itself the largest after-market service provider of electrical and mechanical rotating machines in Africa, said.

“Investigations revealed the motors driving the pumps were in a poor condition, with this severely affecting the availability and the performance of the pump chambers,” the company said. This required the initiation of a detailed refurbishment program, which involved the procurement of spare parts, the setting up of an on-site bearing store, and taking the lead in returning the motors to full service, according to M&C.

“Where possible, the motors were repaired in-situ – thus avoiding any possible crisis of underground flooding – while others were removed for full refurbishment,” the company said. “The highest level of engineering practices where followed during repairs, re-installation and commissioning.”

Ongoing support is also being provided, including the training of mine maintenance staff, the development of installation and commissioning specifications, conducting of regular site inspections, management of spares, and continual engagement with mine engineering management, according to the company.

Marthinusen & Coutts operates six state-of-the-art repair and manufacturing facilities – in Johannesburg, Benoni, Sasolburg, Rustenburg, Harare and Kitwe – and, supported by a network of technically equipped partners throughout Africa, provides services not only in Africa but globally.

Metso pumps business area going with the mining flow

Metso used the recent Bauma fair, in Munich, Germany, to showcase several new solutions, including its MDR500 pump for mill discharge applications.

The MDR500 fits on a frame 1400 and is the largest frame for the MD series to benefit from an innovative pump maintenance slide base, Metso’s Director EMEA, Pumps business area, Steve Sedgwick told IM at the event, ahead of the publication of its annual feature on pumps and pipelines.

In terms of routine inspection or repair, this design allows the complete bearing frame and rotating element to be removed as a unit; thus, impeller, complete gland seal component and back liner renewal can be carried out rapidly and safely. The inlet and discharge piping can remain in place, which aids health and safety.

The MD series has been designed speci¬fically for mill discharge, very abrasive applications and cyclone feed duties, offering sustained efficiency and performance, on top of operational reliability and durability, according to Metso.

The company says it uses only high-performance materials for its MD pumps that come with excellent resistance to abrasion and erosion. Special emphasis has also been placed on components able to withstand exceptional wear from coarse heavy solids due to the modern hydraulic design.

“An oversized robust steel shaft and extra thick casings and liners are just some of the heavy-duty components equipped on our MD series pumps,” Metso said.

While the MDR500 on the Metso stand came with a rubber lining, the company also provides an alternative metal lining for coarse feeds (MDM500).

The pump (MDR500), which as the name implies comes with a 500 mm inlet, has a large diameter, slow-running impeller, on top of double adjustment feature ensuring both suction side and gland side impeller clearances can be set perfectly from new, and maintained throughout the wear life of the components.

This specimen on show was, by far, not the largest model available, with Metso saying it can meet most flow and head requirements for the intended applications.

Last year, the company introduced a new pump test rig at its Sala facility, in Sweden, equipped with a 2 MW motor that could accommodate the company’s largest mill discharge pump – the MDM650 and larger. Some of the pumps tested on this new rig have already been dispatched to a mining customer in South America.

Sedgwick said the company had also sold many pumps to miners in several countries in recent years – for base metal and other operations – and was continuing to register good demand from mining companies around the world focused on gold, iron ore and copper.

He said Metso had also recently made a delivery to a company in the CIS where the pump was being used in conjunction with high pressure grinding rollers in a hard-rock comminution circuit.

Metso doesn’t just supply the pumps that go into these heavy-duty applications, though. It has also helped integrate the equipment into the operations they were built for by supplying rubber pipes, valves and other solutions to ensure they operate to their full ability.

A case in point is Boliden’s Aitik mine, just south of Gällivare in the north-central part of Sweden, where an expansion project to take the operation from 36 Mt/y of throughput to 45 Mt/y has been going on for the past few years.

This 25% increase in production – that came with a subsequent rise in the output of copper concentrate – required every part of the Aitik plant to be optimised, Metso said.

Initial investigation showed if concentrate volumes were to step up with this expansion, the mine would run into capacity limitations with the existing tailings from the plant.

The miner needed a proven solution fast in order to achieve its production goals. It also required one that could cope with environments where temperatures could vary from -40°C to 30°C.

This is where Metso suggested a solution consisting of heavy-duty slurry pumps and rubber-lined steel pipes designed for rugged applications.

The company supplied 16 km of natural rubber-lined pipes, ranging in size from DN200 to DN600, with rubber compensators and branch pipes, and the heavy-duty pumps. The pipes offer five times longer wear life compared with a typical polyethylene pipe, according to the company, and were supplied alongside rubber hoses, and rubber bends equipped with thick long-wear rubber and an “ultra-smooth surface” for low flow resistance to increase the tailing capacity.

Xylem releases latest Godwin smart dewatering pump

Xylem recently launched the latest in its series of smart pumps under its renowned Godwin brand as it looks to combat the toughest mining and construction applications.

On show at the recent Bauma fair, in Munich, the new Godwin CD150S Dri-Prime dewatering pump, part of Godwin’s renowned S Series, will allow customers across Europe to dig deeper and build bigger, it said.

The Godwin CD150S offers greater flexibility due to its interchangeable impeller – dramatically expanding the application range of the pump and providing customers with “two pumps in one”, the company said. The CD impeller can now be exchanged with a Flygt N-Technology non-clog impeller, providing customers with the flexibility to tackle “stringy, modern wastewater applications with the same pump”.

Also, the pump system has been entirely redesigned with improved hydraulic efficiency, greater fuel economy, and streamlined serviceability to deliver more than 15% improved fuel economy, 40% less service time and 20% greater uptime.

“The pump’s compressor belt tensioner reduces the time taken to change and adjust the belt to approximately 30 minutes, and the addition of a new sight glass allows operators to accurately monitor the level and quality of the pump’s mechanical seal oil,” Xylem said. “This new and improved design improves service efficiency and cuts overall service time by 40%.”

Kevin Snow, Godwin Global Product Manager, said: “With the launch of the Godwin CD150S, we have redefined toughness for the construction and mining industries. The interchangeable impellers of the Godwin CD150S will allow customers to tackle a full range of solids handling applications, while Xylem’s new generation of Field Smart Technology (FST) gives customers total control of the pump from anywhere in the world.

“The CD150S is also compliant with EU Stage 5 emissions standards, offering customers a more sustainable solution to complex water challenges. The new Godwin CD150S is also available to rent from various locations across our European rental network. With the new Godwin CD150S, tough is now smart, tough is flexible, tough is sustainable, and tough is on-demand.”

The new CD150S is the latest smart pump to be unveiled under the Godwin S Series – “the smart solution for water that offers unmatched control and peace of mind anytime, anywhere”.

Designed with advanced levels of monitoring and control, efficiency and reliability, the CD150S can also be equipped with a new-generation of FST, Xylem’s first-in-industry Cloud-based telematics platform that enables the Internet of Things across the entire Godwin S series, Xylem said. “Using cellular, satellite and GPS technology, customers can track, monitor and control the pump in real-time from any smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, anywhere in the world.”

The company said: “Xylem also offers a variety of FST subscription plans to suit customer needs, and users can contact a customer service representative at Xylem’s Network Operation Centre from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night. In addition, the new-generation FST system is smart enough to alert operators by phone if a problem arises – eliminating the need for an additional telephone alarm box. This new, smart technology increases pump uptime by up to 20% and ensures field equipment and labour resources are utilised efficiently.”

The EU Stage 5 engines provide a 90% reduction in particulate emissions, according to Xylem.