Weir Minerals Africa : Pumping innovation underpins GEHO success

The technical development of Weir Minerals’ GEHO® optimistic displacement pumps has ensured they play a key position in reducing mines’ environmental footprint.
The GEHO® pump vary is well-known in numerous pumping applications including tailings, backfill, ore transportation and dewatering. Weir Minerals Global Product Manager for GEHO® constructive displacement (PD) pumps, Erik Vlot, highlights the pumps’ ability to pump extremely viscous slurry, permitting mines to preserve water. More of pipeline transportation additionally helps reduce energy costs and reduces mines’ carbon footprint.
“The basis of GEHO pumps’ success is our ongoing attention to technical innovation and improvement,” says Vlot. “This additionally allowed us to be pioneers within the pumping of very acidic materials at excessive temperatures, corresponding to nickel slurry at greater than 200°C at a mine in Madagascar.”
With their excessive capacity, GEHO® pumps transport bauxite or iron ore over tons of of kilometres, offering some of the value effective and sustainable transfer methods out there to the mining trade. These pumps have additionally performed an integral position within the success of a Weir Minerals paste resolution at Finland’s largest open pit mine. Yara’s Siilinjärvi mine makes use of GEHO® pumps to maneuver tailings from the plant, reaching the mandatory seashore slope on its tailings facility to satisfy its life-of-mine technique.
Backfilling is a vital technique for mining to attain security and environmental goals, and GEHO® pumps have been enabling this work. In a North American platinum operation, the gear pumps over a thousand litres a minute of this viscous backfill material – measuring 70% solids by weight – back into the mine’s worked out areas.
In the context of deep mines, GEHO® pumps provide an environment friendly and dependable way of dewatering from nice depths, as an alternative of using a number of smaller pumps to transfer water to floor. The powerful GEHO® pump vary can do this by pumping from the underside of a mine to the surface in just one raise – even over kilometres.
“Apart from the cost effectiveness of this resolution, an essential advantage is that it reduces the risk of 1 pump in a pumping chain failing, and disrupting the complete dewatering perform,” he says. “It also reduces the price and maintenance requirements of having a number of pumping stations at completely different ranges inside the mine.”
The reputation of GEHO® pumps has also been constructed on their reliability, he explains. This has resulted from Weir Minerals’ ongoing analysis and development into its pumps’ put on parts. This course of is predicated on an in-depth understanding of the whole pumping system in which the pump operates.
“Taking under consideration how our pumps work together with these methods, we concentrate on key features of the pumps such because the diaphragm and propelling liquid system,” he says. The propelling liquid supplies the barrier between the piston and the diaphragm ensuring that each one the moving parts transfer in oil and not slurry.
He emphasises the importance of diaphragm dynamics and the need to control the volume of propelling liquid in the chamber. This is finished via the PLC control, to ensure that the diaphragm runs in the best place.
“Rubber is good at bending, but when it stretches it can tear,” he says. “Our goal is to increase the substitute intervals between diaphragm replacements, helping mines to scale back both their downtime and their whole price of ownership.”
The monitoring of GEHO® pumps’ operation is conducted through digital expertise so that operators can stay abreast – in real time – of the pump’s efficiency and condition. Weir Minerals’ digital layer for these pumps is being rolled out to customers, informing the upkeep schedules and enhancing pump availability.
Vlot notes that Weir Minerals continues to innovate with the GEHO® pump vary, and is even exploring potentialities for transferring coarse ore to the floor from deep in a mine – as a more value effective choice to conventional hoisting methods.
“Vital to all our GEHO pump solutions is the Weir Minerals’ international service community, guaranteeing that wherever our pumps are working there will be an experienced local service crew to support them,” he concludes.
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