Tag Archives: Weir Minerals

Weir Minerals offers up slurry pumping advice with updated Warman handbook

Weir Minerals, manufacturer of the Warman® slurry pump, has released the latest edition of its Warman Slurry Pumping Handbook, with the sixth edition, the company says, featuring detailed engineering data required for most slurry pumping applications.

Drawing on decades of Weir Minerals’ in-house expertise in engineering and slurry pumping technology, the new handbook has updated reference material based on new learnings, improved understanding and technological developments within the mining industry, Weir Minerals says. The handbook aims to empower engineers to achieve optimal performance from their Warman slurry pumps.

An increased global focus on the environment, energy consumption and water conservation will influence slurry pump design and considerations – making this latest handbook an essential tool for all current and future pump engineers, the company added.

Marcus Lane, Director, Slurry Pumping Technology Group, said: “Pumping slurry has many challenges and I’m excited to publish our latest handbook, packed with fundamental theory, application advice, standard practices and latest Warman learnings from the field; all aimed to help our customers, present and future, deliver with excellence.”

Weir Minerals says it is looking to shape the next generation of smart, efficient and sustainable solutions with cutting-edge science and innovation. The handbook includes over 140 pages of detailed information, including performance charts, impeller design, part configuration, assembly and slurry considerations – supported by accurate technical renders and specifications.

John McNulty, Vice President Global Engineering & Technology, said: “The high quality of the reference material in this essential resource reflects the leading status of the Warman slurry pumps. As the industry leader, we have a responsibility to develop our future engineers; we will make the latest version of the Warman Slurry Pumping Handbook available not only to our customers, but also to the leading schools worldwide, so they can learn from the best in the industry.”

As part of Weir Minerals’ commitment to investing in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and developing the next generation of engineers, copies of this resource will be gifted to the leading mining and engineering educational facilities around the world, including the winner of the 2022 Warman Design & Build competition, Deakin University in Australia.

Weir preparing to trial proprietary ore sorting tech by the end of 2022

In the Weir Group Capital Markets Event presentation last week, Chris Carpenter revealed that the company was collaborating within its divisions on trials of ore sorting technology in an effort to move less rock at mine sites and optimise processing within the plant.

Carpenter, Vice President of Technology at Weir ESCO, said the company was combining Motion Metrics’ particle size distribution (PSD) capability with ore characterisation technology to explore “in-pit sorting” opportunities for its clients.

“Looking further out, we believe ore characterisation and in-pit ore sorting has the potential to transform mining by moving less rock, using less energy and creating less waste,” he said during his presentation. “Ore characterisation technology, which is underpinned by sophisticated sensing systems, captures critical data on properties and composition of rock, including rock hardness and mineral and moisture content.

“When coupled with Motion Metrics fragmentation analysis technology, it has the potential to be a game changer, giving miners a full picture of the size and characteristics of rocks.”

Motion Metrics, a developer of artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D rugged machine vision technology, was acquired by Weir almost a year ago, with the business incorporated into the Weir ESCO division. Its smart, rugged cameras monitor and provide data on equipment performance, faults, payloads and rock fragmentation. This data is then analysed using embedded and cloud-based AI to provide real-time feedback to the mining operation.

These technologies were initially developed for ground engaging tool applications but have recently been extended into a suite of products and solutions that can be applied from drill and blast through to primary processing.

Carpenter said the added PSD capability from Motion Metrics was expanding the company’s value presence across the mine to the processing plant, where Weir Minerals operates.

“Results from early adoption of Motion Metrics PSD solutions have been extremely encouraging,” he said. “Feedback from customers is positive; data sharing and collaboration have increased.

“Given this early progress, we are really excited about the opportunity and expect fragmentation analysis to be a key growth driver for Motion Metrics in the years to come.”

On the in-pit sorting potential, Carpenter said Weir ESCO had laboratory-validated equipment and field trials of its proprietary solution that were due to start at customer sites before the end of the year tied to these developments.

“If successful, this technology opens the door to in-pit sorting, where miners complete the first stage of crushing in the pit and analyse the outputs to make real-time decisions about which rocks have sufficient mineral content to be moved,” he said. “This is a step change from the current process, where energy is expended in transporting and processing all of the rocks, regardless of mineral content, and with significant waste generated from zero- and low-grade material.”

He concluded: “Our vision is to move less rock, moving only the rocks with sufficient mineral content and using the data that is captured on size and hardness to optimise processing. The natural evolution thereafter will be towards real-time automation control of processing equipment, ensuring the right rocks are processed in the most efficient way, using less energy and creating less waste.”

Weir Minerals expands local presence in Kazakhstan with new service ‘Supercentre’

Weir Minerals says it has opened a new service “Supercentre” in Almaty, Kazakhstan, marking a strategically important milestone that expands local capabilities of its engineering and service expertise to accelerate customer support in the region.

The new facility includes a customer service office; a workshop for maintenance, repair and assembly of Warman® pumps, Cavex® hydrocyclones and Isogate® knife-gate valves; and a warehouse holding strategic equipment and spare parts under Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) contracts. The 3,300 sq.m Weir Minerals Supercentre is fully equipped to perform rubber lining with premium Linatex® rubber in both cold and hot bonding, the company added.

Weir Minerals service capabilities in Kazakhstan include a complete range of services, such as installation supervision and commissioning, operational support, maintenance and troubleshooting, assistance in developing a maintenance strategy and equipment condition monitoring and analysis.

The official opening of the Supercentre was carried out by Carola Schulz, Managing Director of Weir Minerals NATCA (North Africa, Turkey and Central Asia); Gavin Dyer, Regional Managing Director of Weir Minerals ENACA (Europe and NATCA); and key customers and partners of Weir Minerals in Central Asia.

Schulz said: “Our new Supercentre in Kazakhstan will support our key customers in the region, as well as manufacture Linatex hoses and execute rubber-lining activities. This £1 million ($1.1 million) investment is core to our localisation strategy and we will continue to invest to support our ambitious growth plans in Central Asia. We have a very close strategic partnership with our customers in Kazakhstan; and we have recently been very successful with new projects in Uzbekistan. This facility will initially be supporting our customers in Uzbekistan.”

Dyer continued: “We are guided by the philosophy of supporting the local economy and always being located close to our customers. We strive to be able to contribute to our customers’ value chain and support their success; and for me the local employees are the main pillar ensuring that we are successful. It is our people that create our legacy, and we are heavily investing in the development of our employees to support our growth and the growth of our customers.”

George Sweiha, Group Procurement Director at KAZ Minerals Group, said: “From the very beginning of the mineral extraction projects at the Bozshakol and Aktogay sites, KAZ Minerals Group has been striving to ensure that original equipment manufacturers are represented in Kazakhstan to develop local capabilities; by this I mean hiring and developing local specialists and building best-in-class facilities. I am glad to see that Weir Minerals shares our vision and recognises the huge benefits of localisation for business partners, but most importantly for the country and society in which we operate.”

RG Gold looks to quadruple yellow metal output with new processing plant

RG Gold, majority owned Kazakh private equity group Verny Capital, has launched a new processing plant at its operations in Kazakhstan that is expected to enable the company to quadruple its gold output to circa-190,000 oz in 2023.

The new carbon in pulp plant, worth more than $420 million, has an annual processing capacity of around 5 Mt/y.

The new processing plant deploys modern equipment from global industry leaders, including Metso Outotec, thyssenkrupp, FLSmidth, Weir Minerals, Roytec and Kemix, RG Gold said.

RG Gold operates the RayGorodok deposit in northern Kazakhstan, one of the country’s largest mines with 5.9 Moz of JORC Code gold reserves. Its output is set to exceed 50,000 oz this year.

Bulat Utemuratov, the key investor in Verny Capital projects, said: “The launch of the new processing plant is a key milestone for RG Gold. It is underpinned by the highest global industry standards using the latest innovation and technical expertise from Resource Capital Funds, our strategic partner. The new plant allows us not only to quadruple RG Gold’s overall output, but importantly, it also provides the opportunity to boost investment in the region.”

Weir Minerals expands Linatex rubber manufacturing facility in Malaysia

Weir Minerals, the sole producer of Linatex® premium rubber products, has expanded its rubber manufacturing facility in Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, doubling production capacity and enabling faster delivery times to customers.

The site, which sits on 18 acres (7.3 ha), has been expanded to include a new Continuous Rubber Process (CRP2) facility, a new Banbury mixer to manufacture masticated dry rubber and additional rubber presses to support the growth within this area of the business.

The modern manufacturing facility features state-of-the-art equipment that produces Linatex rubber products, a leading rubber used to protect equipment in mining, minerals processing and industrial applications for the global Weir Minerals network. The £13 million ($14 million) investment enhances Weir Minerals’ position as a global supplier, enabling the company to meet the increasing demand for premium rubber products and support its worldwide customer base, it said.

The new facilities were inaugurated by the President of Weir Minerals, Ricardo Garib, Vice President Operations of Weir Minerals, Richard Hinsley, and Managing Director of Weir Minerals Malaysia, Stephen Frendt.

Frendt said: “Our site manufactures Linatex rubber sheet and moulded rubber products for process equipment used in mining and industrial applications. This expansion will allow us to service the growing demand in the market – not just now but for years to come.

“The investment in the CRP2 allows us to increase the production capacity for the high wear and abrasion resistant Linatex rubber sheet. The Rubber Mixing Process expansion, on the other hand, is an upstream vertical integration of the supply chain in which masticated dry rubber compounds such as R55 are manufactured and distributed worldwide from the facility here at Weir Minerals Malaysia.”

The investment is a testament to the company’s focus on material technology, it says, ensuring that Weir Minerals’ customers have access to the best elastomers and supporting continuous product development.

The CRP2 control room at Weir Minerals Malaysia

Garib added: “Linatex is a vulcanised natural gum rubber, which is produced through a unique liquid phase proprietary process. Manufactured from a renewable resource, the final product is 95% natural rubber made from the highest-quality latex. Our rubber manufacturing facility is
very significant to Malaysia and to Weir Minerals globally, and continues to showcase our dedication to the environment and sustainable practices.”

In line with Weir Minerals’ dedication to sustainable solutions and practices, the Linatex rubber manufacturing process already has the lowest energy consumption compared with other rubber suppliers to the industry, it claims. A new renewable solar energy system has been installed on site in Batu Caves to further lower the power used in the rubber production process. The solar panels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 900 t CO2e/y, the company estimates.

Weir Minerals says it is also committed to further sequestering carbon by planting new trees on site and ensuring the natural surroundings are rehabilitated and preserved. All-local tree species were selected for this project after consultation with the local town council.

Hinsley said: “Sustainability is an inherent part of Linatex production, starting with latex being a natural and renewable resource sourced directly from the Hevea Brasiliensis trees, to working with ‘green’ suppliers, to manufacturing. The Continuous Rubber Process has minimal waste, and even mixing requires less energy compared to other rubbers.

“Sustainability is also an important part of our supply chain: we have been investing in Malaysia for a long time, employing local workers, providing community support and partnering with local suppliers, some of whom have been with us for over 30 years.”

Weir and Swiss Tower Mills align on energy efficient comminution pathway

The Weir Group has announced a new alliance with Swiss Tower Mills Minerals (STM) in which Weir will market STM’s vertical stirred grinding mills for coarse grinding applications worldwide.

Integrating vertical stirred grinding mills into Weir’s minerals processing flowsheet will provide customers substantial improvements in throughput and energy efficiency, helping them to meet their productivity and sustainability goals, Weir says.

STM’s vertical stirred grinding technology is proven for energy efficient comminution in the mining market with more than 80 units currently operating in the hard-rock mineral processing industry across the globe, according to the company. It is used within the comminution segment of the minerals processing circuit as part of a series of crushing and grinding processes that create the fine particles from which minerals can be extracted through flotation.

Comminution, as has been well documented, is one of the most energy intensive parts of the mine, accounting for 25% of the final energy consumption of an average mine site.

Weir says it is already a leader in comminution technologies, offering solutions such as Enduron® high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs) to drive down energy consumption by around 40% for customers.

This new alliance with STM takes things to the next level, offering the mining and minerals industry a proven low energy alternative to traditional high energy consuming tumbling mills, it said. Combining and integrating these energy-efficient technologies into a single, optimised flowsheet will deliver significant reductions in energy use, driving down costs and carbon emissions.

In order to prove the most beneficial flowsheet for specific projects, STM has already supplied two vertical test mills to the Weir Minerals HPGR test facility in Venlo (Netherlands). This will put Weir and STM in the unique position to provide clients combined energy efficient grinding test work of HPGR followed by STM’s vertical stirred mill, they said.

Ricardo Garib, Weir Minerals Divisional President, said: “Weir and STM share the same vision of enabling primary resource providers to produce resources in the most sustainable manner. This is a perfect match of best-in-class technology providers. Integrating STM mills with Weir’s comminution products, which includes Enduron HPGRs and Enduron screens, will improve throughput and help bring substantial reductions in carbon emissions.

“This is a real win-win.”

Fritz Moser, STM Chairman, said “Both the HPGR and the STM vertical stirred mills provide significant energy savings compared to conventional grinding technologies. Our new supply agreement with Weir will enable us to fast track the roll out of an innovative flowsheet using STM mills in conjunction with Weir’s Enduron HPGR.”

Weir Minerals and Eriez Flotation team up to expand coarse particle flotation market reach

Weir Minerals and Eriez Flotation have announced a cooperative agreement to design and develop coarse particle flotation (CPF) systems.

Course particle flotation facilitates more efficient separation, while also reducing water and energy consumption and producing safer tailings. It has been proven at the likes of Anglo American’s El Soldado mine, Newcrest’s Cadia operation and Capstone Mining’s Pinto Valley operation, among others.

“This cutting-edge technology is a step-change improvement over conventional flotation systems,” Eric Bain Wasmund, Ph.D., Professional Engineer, Vice President of Eriez Global Flotation Business, said.

The cooperation allows both companies to better connect the Eriez equipment with the slurry classification and conveying expertise of Weir Minerals, according to Ricardo Garib, Division President of Weir Minerals.

“As mining companies look to optimise their plant and processes while also reducing their carbon footprint, we’ll see CPF being more widely adopted,” he said.

“We have an Integrated Solutions team – made up of a diverse range of product experts, process engineers, design engineers and materials scientists, among others – that works closely with miners to deliver reliable solutions that help solve their specific problems. In the current regulatory environment and with an increased focus on ESG issues, miners are being asked to produce more with less and CPF systems are a vital technology that allows them to do that.”

Eriez’s leading products include the HydroFloat® Separator for coarse particle mineral concentration, which delivers the capacity of a density separator while maintaining the selectivity of a flotation device. Using a novel aeration system to disperse fine bubbles into a fluidised-bed environment, the HydroFloat Separator significantly increases the selective recovery of coarse particles by applying flotation fundamentals to gravity separation.

Garib added: “Weir Minerals has a long history of innovative engineering and we’re excited to partner with a company like Eriez because its technology perfectly complements the solutions Weir Minerals currently provides. Ultimately, it’s about delivering the best outcomes for our customers.

“We’re proud of the work we do to harness the latest technologies to efficiently process the minerals that will be essential for a future in which mass electrification will play a vital role in the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Weir Minerals provides slurry pipeline operators with predictive maintenance tool

Weir Minerals is launching Synertrex® IntelliWear™, a new digital wear monitoring system for spools and hoses in slurry pipelines.

Developed by the Weir Minerals digital specialists in Chile, the intelligent system addresses the increasing demand for optimisation and safety within the mining industry, the company said.

With the continual move towards digital solutions, Weir Minerals recognised the need to support customers with their ongoing maintenance. The company has now developed a solution that enables mine sites to monitor the condition and wear performance of their hoses and spools via a network of smart sensors connected to their DCS (Digital Control System).

“Equipment health is of the utmost importance, with many operators looking to streamline their operations for increased productivity and reduced downtime,” the company said. “The Synertrex IntelliWear monitoring system allows pipeline operators to check their equipment in the critical wear areas and perform predictive maintenance prior to any unplanned disruptions and downtime.”

With planned repair and replacement of equipment, the benefits to customers are invaluable, according to Weir Minerals.

“Unscheduled stops are reduced – leading to reduced costs of operation and maintenance,” it said. “Most importantly, safety on site is increased, as spools and hoses are replaced prior to failure, thus removing the risk of slurry leakage which can cause injury to workers on site and the environment.”

Eduardo Putz, Synertrex and Mechatronics Champion, Latin America, says the Synertrex IntelliWear monitoring system enables customers to have much more control over their equipment.

“With smart sensors they are able to analyse wear life, plan maintenance and control stock,” he said. “The ability to prevent non-scheduled maintenance further supports our customers in their sustainability goals.”

The Synertrex IntelliWear system has been developed and rigorously tested in a range of slurry conditions and mill circuit arrangements, according to Putz, with the company confident the platform will deliver a significant positive impact on customers’ operations.

The system is comprised of an intelligent digital sensor integrated into Weir Minerals’ Linatex® and Vulco® hoses and spools. A central control panel captures information in a single location, and a dashboard allows for visualisation and analysis of the equipment data via Synertrex.

“Digitalisation enables our customers to continue their normal operational duties, while large amounts of data is automatically analysed and interpreted in the background via the Synertrex platform,” Putz said.

A conductive wire is installed in the rubber lining at various levels of thickness. As the lining wears, it activates sensors to indicate the extent to which the rubber liner has been worn and in turn how much life is left.

A digital traffic light system has been developed to enable quick visual identification of the condition of the hose or spool. Less than 50% wear is green, between 50% and 70% wear is yellow, greater than 75% wear is red – indicating it is time for preventative maintenance. The conductive wire is installed along the entire Linatex or Vulco spool or hose, throughout its diameter.

The central monitoring panel collects data from the sensors in the field and sends it to the Synertrex platform, which allows operators or maintenance personnel to view it. Information collected can also be uploaded to the cloud to be viewed on a live dashboard, which is automatically updated every two minutes. The intelligent system enables operators to view real-time wear information from any device remotely – ensuring continual monitoring and better control over their equipment, Weir Minerals says. This control allows for optimisation, improved performance and the elimination of unwanted operating conditions.

Synertrex IntelliWear is available across the Weir Minerals network initially in the Americas, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Weir Minerals taps XMPro digital twin solution for Synertrex development

Weir Minerals has announced a new partnership with XMPro, a digital twin platform, to enable intelligent equipment and services and support miners to achieve higher performance while also reducing the environmental footprint of their operations, the mining OEM says.

The XMPro platform – as a part of the Synertrex® digital ecosystem – will facilitate the delivery of event intelligence, predictive analytics and real-time insights, Weir Minerals said. It allows for data orchestration and value creation from multiple sources, including sensors, miners’ digital ecosystems and data only available to Weir Minerals as an OEM, like maintenance data and 3D engineering models, it said.

The platform identifies critical events by applying artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, which will provide Weir Minerals’ customers with the next generation of predictive services and recommended actions. XMPro facilitates easy collaboration between reliability engineering and operations by providing real-time information and equipment insights, viewed via mobile devices and the Synertrex intelligence web portal, according to the company.

Weir Minerals also recently signed a digital partnership framework for strategic cooperation with AVEVA, an end-to-end pioneering industrial software provider. 

Ole Knudsen, Weir Minerals, Director Digital, said: “XMPro takes an actionable and collaborative approach to data that closely aligns with our Synertrex digital ecosystem. It is a platform ensuring maximum customer value from all the data we collect, ranging from equipment and process data to the in-house data we have access to as an OEM. We see the multiple data source approach as essential to build the holistic digital twins providing ‘intelligence’ to our customers in terms of insights, predictiveness and recommendations allowing for a proactive approach to maintenance planning and execution.

“Within the foreseeable future, we see these platforms and the building of the multiple data-source digital twins providing even more value for Weir Minerals and our customers, which is enabled by closing the loop between real-time operations, equipment design and manufacturing.”

Pieter van Schalkwyk, CEO XMPro, said: “The partnership between Weir and XMPro creates a unique opportunity for mining companies to accelerate their digital transformation journey for complex assets. It combines Weir’s deep domain expertise and rich asset information models with XMPro’s class-leading real-time, operational digital twin platform. This combination provides unique insights, prescriptive maintenance and operations recommendations for users of Weir’s extensive range of mining equipment.

“It has been a pleasure working with Weir’s engineering team, who are not only deep domain experts on mining processes but also have a clear vision of their roadmap for digital solutions that provide real-time operational intelligence for the overall mining value chain. We are excited that XMPro is the platform that Weir chose to deliver these capabilities to end-users.”

Weir Minerals and AVEVA team up to offer secure access to Synertrex IIoT hub

Weir Minerals has signed a digital business framework with industrial software provider, AVEVA, with an aim to use the AVEVA PI System™ as the data foundation for the OEM’s Synertrex® digital ecosystem.

Weir Minerals intends to use the AVEVA PI System to collect, contextualise and analyse data streams wihtin the context of Synertrex, its advanced Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform.

The objectives of the agreement include:

  • Digitally enabling the mining industry by simplifying data access and data sharing with easy and secure on-premises or cloud integration between Weir Minerals and its customers;
  • Establishing the data foundation for technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to optimise equipment and processes and thereby maximising sustainable performance; and
  • Pioneering new and innovative digital solutions supporting our common customers digital transformation and adoption of intelligent solutions.

The use of AVEVA PI, along with AVEVA Data Hub, a cloud-native hub for aggregating and contextualising on-premises and remote data, will offer the mining industry a unique solution for securely connecting mining operators with Weir Minerals as an OEM, the company said.

The business model will provide a variety of flexible integration solutions – from on-premise to cloud – that will make it easier for miners to integrate with the Weir Minerals’ Synertrex digital ecosystem. It uses a secure and simplified approach to access and share real-time and historical operations data, according to the company.

These shared ecosystems will provide miners and Weir Minerals with full data transparency and an easy-to-access, real-time 360° view of all Synertrex-enabled equipment and processes. They will also be the basis of the further development of digital twins and predictive algorithms, which will provide decision makers with recommended actions and real-time decision support, Weir Minerals said. This will lead to less power and water consumption and extended equipment life.

Ole Knudsen, Weir Minerals, Director Digital, said: “The AVEVA PI System is an established industrial data management solution that is currently used by nine of the top ten Fortune 500 mining companies. The proven and secure PI System enables us to build a series of Asset Framework templates for our equipment, making it a secure yet simple plug and play exercise to connect our equipment to our customers’ digital ecosystems. This will enable the critical first steps of a structured and standardised data approach.

“With the addition of the new AVEVA Data Hub and Weir Minerals’ Synertrex solutions, we’re in a unique position as an OEM to offer our customers a real game-changing approach to a flexible data sharing strategy. This will be the foundation of our data and intelligence driven digital optimisation solutions; this is how Weir Minerals will transform and enable more sustainable mining operations.”

Rónán de Hooge, AVEVA’s Executive Vice President of Information Management, added: “We’re very excited to work with Weir Minerals to deliver mining operators smart analytics to drive industrial transformation. AVEVA’s ability to collect real-time performance data in any location and deliver it securely to the Synertrex platform will give operators new insight into the health of their assets and help them optimise maintenance and avoid costly downtime.

“AVEVA is deeply committed to providing industrial companies with an open platform that is their trusted system of record for industrial data. Our products help companies harvest diverse types of critical industrial data across their distributed environments, enrich it with contextual information, and make it easily available to the people, applications and tools that will deliver transformation and sustainability.”