Weir Minerals Africa : Pumping innovation underpins GEHO success

The technical advancement of Weir Minerals’ GEHO® positive displacement pumps has ensured they play a key role in reducing mines’ environmental footprint.
The GEHO® pump range is well-known in various 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’ capacity to pump extremely viscous slurry, permitting mines to preserve water. The vitality efficiency of pipeline transportation additionally helps minimize vitality prices and reduces mines’ carbon footprint.
“The basis of GEHO pumps’ success is our ongoing consideration to technical innovation and enchancment,” says Vlot. “This also allowed us to be pioneers in the pumping of very acidic material at high temperatures, such as nickel slurry at more than 200°C at a mine in Madagascar.”
With their excessive capability, GEHO® pumps transport bauxite or iron ore over hundreds of kilometres, providing some of the price effective and sustainable switch methods obtainable to the mining trade. These pumps have additionally performed an integral function within the success of a Weir Minerals paste resolution at Finland’s largest open pit mine. Yara’s Siilinjärvi mine uses GEHO® pumps to move tailings from the plant, attaining the mandatory seaside slope on its tailings facility to fulfill its life-of-mine technique.
Backfilling is a vital methodology for mining to realize safety 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 materials – measuring 70% solids by weight – again into the mine’s worked out areas.
In the context of deep mines, GEHO® pumps provide an environment friendly and dependable means of dewatering from great depths, as a substitute of utilizing multiple smaller pumps to switch water to surface. The highly effective GEHO® pump vary can do this by pumping from the underside of a mine to the floor in only one lift – even over kilometres.
“Apart from the price effectiveness of this resolution, an essential benefit is that it reduces the danger of 1 pump in a pumping chain failing, and disrupting the whole dewatering function,” he says. “It additionally reduces the fee and upkeep requirements of having a quantity of pumping stations at completely different levels within the mine.”
The popularity of GEHO® pumps has additionally been built on their reliability, he explains. This has resulted from Weir Minerals’ ongoing research and growth into its pumps’ put on parts. Extra is based on an in-depth understanding of the whole pumping system by which the pump operates.
“Taking into consideration how our pumps work together with these techniques, we concentrate on key features of the pumps such because the diaphragm and propelling liquid system,” he says. The propelling liquid offers the barrier between the piston and the diaphragm guaranteeing that every one the shifting elements transfer in oil and not slurry.
He emphasises the importance of diaphragm dynamics and the need to control the volume of propelling liquid within the chamber. This is finished through the PLC control, to ensure that the diaphragm runs in the proper position.
“Rubber is nice at bending, but if it stretches it may possibly tear,” he says. “Our aim is to increase the replacement intervals between diaphragm replacements, helping mines to scale back each their downtime and their complete cost of possession.”
The monitoring of GEHO® pumps’ operation is conducted via digital technology in order 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 clients, 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 surface from deep in a mine – as a more price effective choice to traditional hoisting methods.
“Vital to all our GEHO pump options is the Weir Minerals’ international service community, making certain that wherever our pumps are operating there might be an experienced local service crew to help them,” he concludes.
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