MechChem Africa

An expanded range of Multiflo® pontoons and walkways from Weir Minerals is available in Africa and Middle Eastern markets, improving the operating efficiency of dewatering systems and increasing flexibility for mines that advance during the mining process. Howard Jones, business development manager for dewatering at Weir Minerals Africa presents the range and its advantages.

According to Howard Jones, Weir Minerals’ business development manager for dewatering in Africa and the Middle East, the Weir Minerals range has evolved out of site-specific requirements over the last seven years.

“We have achieved considerable success with these mining solutions in regions such as Canada and Australia, and we have been able to evolve these designs to suit the climatic conditions in our markets,” says Jones. “The growing demand for these products has also seen Weir Minerals Africa apply its capability to the of design specialised, custom-built pontoons.”

He notes that these innovations have allowed mining customers to maintain optimal suction conditions during the pumping process, while alleviating the need for costly civil works and static pump stations.

Weir Multiflo PIT dewatering

“The benefits of mounting equipment on a floating structure play a major role in our global drive to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for mines and other industries,” Jones says. “Our commitment to optimise our customers’ processes is always taken into consideration in order to support their operations and profitability.”

These floating pump stations are designed to accommodate the whole Weir Minerals product range, including Warman® submersible pumps, end suction centrifugal pumps, Multiflo® horizontal split case pumps and Floway® vertical turbine pumps.

“While most of these pumps are electrically driven, we also have a range of diesel-driven pump sets mounted on pontoons with integral fuel tanks. This allows for extended operating hours,” he explains.

He highlights the Multiflo® MF 420EX pump as a market leader in high capacity, high head and heavy-duty mine dewatering applications. This, he says, it due to its extremely robust structure, materials of construction and auto vacuum-primed, diesel-driven characteristics.

“These pumps can survive under the toughest operating conditions and in multi-stage applications that function optimally in the world’s open pit mines,” he says.

Multiflo pontoon-mounted pumping stations are often used in conjunction with skid-mounted pump sets on haul roads, allowing for series pumping in deep pits.

“We do, however, also have a range of products that allows us to achieve heads of up to 130 metres with a single stage centrifugal pump,” says Jones. “One of the challenges is accessing pontoons. This is overcome by the design and installation of either fixed or floating walkways, which we custom design to accommodate the varying water levels.”

All Weir Minerals’ equipment is built with safety as a priority and in Africa the equipment is designed in compliance with the South African national standard SANS 10162, enabling the structures to withstand wind loads of up to 150 km/hour as well as point loads of 150 kg/m2.

Jones emphasises that anchoring systems – along with retractable walkway designs – have become an integral part of the company’s offering to allow safe operation and easy access to pumps, either during general operation or for major maintenance interventions.

“These walkways average about 20 m in length …

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