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Versatile pump solves problem at iron ore mine


An iron ore mine in the Northern Cape benefitted from the versatility of a pump which was recently dry-installed for boosting slurry flow.

According to Justin Bawden, key account manager at Integrated Pump Technology, the submersible Grindex Bravo 800 pump is best known for operating in a liquid environment.

However, it needed to be used as a booster from the wall of one of the mine’s settling dams.

“The distance from the settling dam to the collection pit was about a kilometre, and the fluid being pumped was high in solids,” Mr Bawden said. “This meant that we needed to boost the pressure considerably from the dam wall. The solution therefore needed to consider both the abrasiveness and the specific gravity of the slurry.”

He noted the previously installed pump was a normal dewatering pump. It had failed due to the extreme wear from the heavy sedimentation in the mine’s settling pond.

In a solution developed in collaboration with Integrated Pump Technology, the mine submerged one of its existing Grindex Bravo pumps in the settling dam. This unit pumps into a 5-inch pipeline over a distance of about 30 metres at a head of 8 to 10 metres to the newly supplied Grindex Bravo 800 at the top of the dam wall.

“We dry-installed the new heavy-duty Grindex Bravo so that it could receive material from below and boost it to the collection pit,” Mr Bawden added. “It was vital to provide sufficient pump capacity so that sediment did not block the pipeline.”