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Flood losses at mines can be averted
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10th February 2006
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With the high rainfall that has taken place recently, the mining houses have again been reminded of the financial losses incurred when mining is delayed by flooding. The need to manage stormwater or to dewater a flooded area in the minimum time has again come under the spotlight as a result of the recent rains and power failures.

Hazleton Pumps, a SME company in Cen-turion, addresses this need in the market place through its range of Hippo submersible slurry and Hippo submersible dewatering pumps. The Hippo submersible pumps are ideal solutions because they are unaffected by the flooding as long as the electrical controls are kept dry and can handle the solids that get washed into the catchment sumps.

The Hippo range that starts at 2,2 kW has now grown to 550 kW in the largest design. During 2005, the company manufactured a 440 kW, 3,3 kV submersible slurry pump to serve at the portal of one of the platinum-mines in Mpumalanga. The duty of the pump, weighing 7 840 kg, is 400 l a second at a pres-sure of 5 bar.

The development of the pump was done in-house with the motor design and manufactur-ing done by Alstom. Interest was also shown by two opencast coal-mines in these high-volume pumps but with the need to run them off the 6,6 kV supply, which is freely available in the mines. These designs were completed and are now ready for manufacturing. “Had we had some of these pumps available for hire during the past few weeks, we could have considerably reduced the losses that some of the mines had incurred,” says Hazleton Pumps sales director Johan de Jager.

The local order was followed up by an order for two 300 kW, 4,16 kV, 60 H pumps to the Oil Sands area in Northern Canada where new challenges, especially low temperatures, had to be overcome. This high-growth Canadian market has proved to be an excellent opportunity for many South African companies because of their local mining experience.

The Canadian order is of great significance to Hazleton Pumps as it is a clear indication of the price competitiveness of the locally-designed and -built product on the open market despite the strength of the rand, De Jager reports.

“The word about the Hippo’s rugged reli-ability has spread fast into neighboring coun-tries to the North with the result that sales into Africa has more than doubled during the past year,” he adds.

“One of the main design features that is often highlighted by customers is the pump’s ability to run dry without detri-mental effect to the pump seals.” When it comes to maintaining the pump, cus- tomers are also surprised at the reason-ably-priced, freely-available, John Crane seals which give exceptional reliability while seals on many of the more-commonly used submersible pumps are extremely expen-sive and can not be run dry.

According to De Jager, the coal-mines in Mpumalanga are faced with the acidity of the mine run-off water that has to be managed and treated in order to protect the environment.

“For these applications the complete Hippo submersible pump range is now available in stainless steel and they are all very competitively priced,” he states.
 

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