Tag Archives: SlurrySucker

Tronox boosts mineral sands dredging process with help of IPR-supplied SlurrySucker

Following a successful one-week trial, heavy minerals company Tronox Mineral Sands has taken delivery of a SlurrySucker dredging unit from Integrated Pump Rental.

The SlurrySucker will remove sand from the process dams near the Tronox mining operation on South Africa’s West Coast. This installation enhances the safety and efficiency of the dredging process, which previously had to be carried out manually by a team of underwater divers, IPR said.

“The pumping capacity of the dredging unit will ensure optimal operation of Tronox’s dams which need to be kept at the required storage volumes at all times,” Ruaan Venter, Rental Development Manager at Integrated Pump Rental, said.

The dredging unit will assist Tronox in regularly cleaning sediment from its process dams, reducing the risk of pump blockage or failure. This solution aims to provide rapid results on a cost-effective basis, while the remote operation raises safety levels, the company added.

To withstand the corrosive effects of salt water, the SlurrySucker has been equipped with a stainless steel casing as well as stainless steel components including wear plates and impellers. The units were manufactured at Integrated Pump Rental’s facility in Jet Park, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The SlurrySucker dredging unit comprises a floating barge with an electric hoist operated from the side of the dam. This ensures a high level of safety with the barge being operated remotely, including the lifting and lowering of the pump. At Tronox, the SlurrySucker is designed to pump 150 cu.m/h of sediment – with a solids content of 50% – back to the thickener in the plant.

“The electrically-driven unit also makes sure that there is no risk of contaminating the water in the dams with diesel or oil leakage,” Venter says. The compact unit is easy to transport between the dams requiring dredging, making for optimal usage of the equipment.

With its local manufacturing capability and technical support offering, Integrated Pump Rental says it is well equipped to maintain the SlurrySucker out of its Johannesburg facility.

IPR’s SlurrySucker tackles seawater and sediment at South Africa mine

Integrated Pump Rental’s SlurrySucker dredging unit recently came to the rescue of a mine on South Africa’s west coast suffering from sea water ingress into its main process water pond.

A recent two-week trial saw the SlurrySucker take on saltwater and high-volume conditions at the mine.

The mine’s main process water pond would fill with sediment within a week, with the sea water it was filled with being highly corrosive, according to IPR. In addition to dealing with this problem, the mine wanted a safer and more cost-effective option than the divers, equipped with manually operated suction pipes, it was employing to remove sediment.

Ruaan Venter, Rental Development Manager at Integrated Pump Rental, said: “This large pond – about 70 m square and 8 m deep – is central to the mine operation as it feeds all the process plants. It is therefore vital that sediment is removed continuously, quickly and in large quantities.”

During the trial, the SlurrySucker was able to pump 250 cu.m/h of sediment with a solids content of 30-40%. This allowed the specialised dredging equipment to remove 60-70 t/h of sediment from the pond.

“When in contact with conventional metal pump components, saltwater is extremely corrosive and, over time, can cause a lot of damage to the equipment leading to the frequent replacement of wear plates and impellers. In addition, the integrity of the framework will also be compromised,” Venter said. “Under these conditions and to mitigate against corrosion, we provide our customers with a full stainless steel pump solution with rubber-lined pipes to transport material from the pond.”

The success of the trial has raised the interest of other mining operations along this coastline, where sea water is also used in the process plants, according to the company.

“Demanding conditions like these would warrant the customer considering a purchase option,” Venter says.

“It is likely that the SlurrySucker would be operational every day on these ponds, making this specialised equipment a valuable investment in the efficient running of the plant.”

Integrated Pump Rental’s SlurrySucker saves the day at Botswana diamond mine

Dredging technology provider, Integrated Pump Rental, says its innovative SlurrySucker has resolved a process water challenge for a diamond mine in Botswana.

Managing Director, Lee Vine, said attempts by the mine to desilt the main process tank using different methods of dredging had proved inadequate and the challenge of this reservoir continuously filling with slurry remained a concern, especially with regards to storage capacity. In addition, the silt build-up was causing damage to the process pumps resulting in unscheduled downtime and unnecessary maintenance expenditure.

Initially, Integrated Pump Rental proposed a SlurrySucker rental unit as this was deemed the quickest solution and there were also some reservations on the part of the mine due to failures with other equipment. The rental unit was installed on the main process tank for a trial period of two weeks.

The SlurrySucker dredging unit was required to pump 250 cu.m of mixed material out of the 40-m diameter by 8-m deep process water tank. This translates into 60 t/h of dry material.

“The performance of the SlurrySucker in that initial two-week period was so good the mine made the decision to purchase its own unit. Our equipment quickly proved itself capable of dealing with the silt issue, and keeping the level of the main process water tank within acceptable parameters,” Vine said.

Vine said that the SlurrySucker, equipped with the Grindex Bravo 700 submersible pump, suited the mine so well because of the mobility it offers.

“The unit can be moved from one tank to another, facilitating desilting of all process water and other water storage tanks and dams, ensuring these remain fully operational and silt free,” he said.