The mining and metal industry’s products support and enable many sectors around the world, including but not limited to consumer electronics, agriculture, critical infrastructure and transportation. The demand for metals and minerals is expected to increase as the global energy transition continues to accelerate.

An increasing number of miners are enhancing their efficiency by implementing low-carbon technologies and methods, by collaborating with processors to produce metals that meet consumer demand for eco-friendly products and by accessing financing linked to sustainability. A wide range of modern technologies are creating value and contributing to the achievement of economic growth and a future with lower carbon emissions.

Due to the vast scope of the mining industry, this article will focus on mining pump applications and their potential to decrease carbon emissions, promote a safer work environment and generate consistently low operating costs.

Expectations in the mining industry

The expectations for mining equipment can be categorised as cost, performance and HSE (Health, Safety and Environment).

Performance is the primary factor, denoting satisfactory outputs and desired metal qualities. Operators can increase profitability by using mining pumps with lower running costs; nonetheless, not at the expense of reliability or safety. Pumps with high dependability require less maintenance. The fewer times maintenance personnel need to inspect or repair the pump, the better. More preferably, personnel could dismantle the entire pump simply and safely without relocating it to a work stand.

Moreover, the industry prefers a full-proof pump that can withstand the harsh conditions of mining. In certain instances, it is important to consider factors such as pH levels and salinity when selecting building materials. In specific regions of Western and Southern Australia, the water contains salinity levels up to 33 times greater than seawater, attributable to an inland sea that existed several hundred thousand years ago.

Mines will face water issues at some point during their operation and it is a frequent problem

An omnipresent factor: mine dewatering

Water can enter mines through two different means: artificially added to remove overburden, waste or rock debris along with facilitating the washing of crushed ores, or naturally as underground water. Mine dewatering serves multiple purposes, including active dewatering of both ore and waste rock, which is essential to ensure continuous operation. Additionally, maintaining dry pit floors and underground workings is necessary to minimise the risk of sudden flooding or mudslides. Releasing pore pressures in open-pit slopes and underground workings is critical to avoid pit bench failures or collapse in underground operations.

Main applications for progressive cavity pumps in mining

SEEPEX progressive cavity (PC) pumps are versatile and are used in many environments, whether above or below ground. Many are operating in flocculants plants, as their functioning principle preserves the shear-sensitive flocculants used in thickening processes. SEEPEX PC pumps also offer dependable and cost-efficient solutions to recover thickener underflows and transfer abrasive mineral pulps or tailings. Reagents used in flotation circuits (PAX, GUAR, MIBC) are easily measured and added with pinpoint accuracy. With high pressure outputs available, many mines rely on SEEPEX pumps for their underground mine dewatering pumps or for filter press feeding applications. Other applications where SEEPEX pumps are acknowledged include the preparation and loading of viscous explosives emulsions from mobile manufacturing units for rock blasting.

PC pumps can aid in wastewater management for remote mining camps that house the mining crews, too.

Energy savings with SEEPEX

PC pumps from SEEPEX are well suited for transferring abrasive, corrosive and even shear-sensitive media with minimal wear, particularly those with high solids content. The pumps operate at low speeds and possess a clear flow passage, resulting in low shear and smooth flow. Compared to other pump types, the low installed power of SEEPEX pumps allows customers to achieve significant energy savings.

A noteworthy feature of SEEPEX pumps is the lack of gland seal water, which eliminates additional costs such as water pumps, sumps or similar expenses. Moreover, SEEPEX’s PC pumps foster flow stability by ensuring constant flow irrespective of backpressure or solids content variations. Additionally, unlike other pumps, PC pumps from SEEPEX can operate effectively at any point on their curve, rendering them even more valuable in changing conditions, as they have no BEP (Best Efficiency Point). Hammering is unnecessary as the pumps offer minimal pulsation flow and are reversible for back flushing.

Mining is an energy-intensive industry, and pumps can help to reduce a mine’s energy consumption and overall carbon footprint. SEEPEX pumps offer reduced life cycle costs because energy and water consumption are much lower compared to alternative pumping methods. Moreover, SEEPEX covers maintenance needs with inclusive, easy maintenance features that facilitate quicker, safer and more cost-efficient maintenance. Pumps can be mounted on simple baseplates with a variety of gearbox and drive combinations, or on engineered skids that can optionally include solid control hoppers, discharge piping and non-return valves for safe operation.

Why choose SEEPEX?

SEEPEX pumps are capable of handling abrasive, corrosive, and shear-sensitive media with ease. They provide a dependable and cost-effective solution for conveying mineral pulp with the appropriate solid content to ensure operational efficiency. With a wide range of materials available, SEEPEX ensures optimal compatibility with corrosive substances, while the PC pump principle preserves the integrity of viscous and shear-sensitive flocculants. SEEPEX pumps ensure high efficiency, allowing you to reap all the benefits of positive displacement pumps, even when handling media with high solids content.

With SEEPEX, clients receive top-tier engineering services utilising an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) approach, backed by a global presence and local spare parts and maintenance support.

CONTACT SEEPEX

SEEPEX is one of the world’s leading specialists in the field of pump technology. The product portfolio includes progressive cavity pumps, pump systems and digital solutions. SEEPEX also offers innovative solutions for conveying aggressive or abrasive media with low to high viscosities. Since 2021, SEEPEX has been part of the Ingersoll Rand Group, a global supplier of mission-critical flow creation and industrial solutions, consisting of more than 40 renowned brands. Ingersoll Rand Inc. (NYSE:IR), driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and ownership mindset, is dedicated to helping make life better for our employees, customers and communities. For more information, visit www.IRCO.com

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by SEEPEX Australia. For more information visit https://www.seepex.com/en-au/

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