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Pretoria pump maker strives for 95% local content
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11th February 2005
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Pumps play a significant role in the mining process. Most underground mining is assisted by pumps, as under-ground water inhibits the mining process. The water is pumped out of the area where mining takes place so that the minerals can be extracted. The underground water is mostly thick, muddy and acidic, and is referred to as acidic slurry.

The other important role pumps play is the fact that mines must have a dam above-ground where water is stored to be purified after it has been contaminated with high-acid elements in the mining process. This is done due to the increasing environmental responsibility mines are forced to deal with. As the dam fills up, the pumps are used to separate the water, after it has been treated, from the particles in the slurry. After the water has been treated and the particles removed, the pumps are used to keep the water and the particles separate so that the water can be recirculated in natural water streams and the slurry is pumped to a settling dam. Award-wining pumps manufacturer Hazleton Pumps is a family-owned company situated in Centurion, Pretoria, and has been designing, developing and manufacturing pumps for the mining industry for over 17 years. The company has designed the highly-acclaimed Hippo slurry-pump range. In turn, the Hippo vertical-spindle range includes a vortex pump, a vertical bottom-discharge pump, a vertical bottom-suction pump and a vertical top-suction pump. The local content of the Hippo pump range is more than 95%. Hazleton Pumps recently supplied eight new Hippo submersible slurry pumps to Aquarius Platinum’s Kroondal mine through the mine’s consultants, Dowding Reynard & Associates (DRA). DRA has also ordered a further eight Hippo submersible slurry pumps for Aquarius’s Everest mine, which is being developed near Lydenburg, in Mpumalanga. Two of the Hippo pumps, which are part of this order, are submersible slurry pumps capable of delivering 180 l/s at a head of 43 m. They are fitted with 185-kW windings. These will be the largest submersible pumps to be manufactured in South Africa. The mining industry is dependent on exchange rates, especially the gold-mines, so all procurement activities must be as economical as possible. There has been immense pressure from the mines to produce quality pumps at a low cost of ownership. Through achieving this objective, the Hippo pump range is so cost-competitive that international orders have been flowing in, particularly from Canada and Russia.
Edited by: Ollie Madlala


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