Local pumps supplier KSB Pumps & Valves has continued its strong gains in the mining sector, with several large-scale slurry pumps contracts being awarded to the company in the latter half of 2016.
The company, based in Germiston, Gauteng, explains that these include projects in the ferrochrome, gold and copper industries, as well as pumps for stainless-steel processing. Further, in all instances, the customers selected KSB pumps owing to their performance and reliability, as well as KSB’s after-sales service, which is designed to ensure uninterrupted production in these high-value plants, says the company.
KSB slurry specialists Mohamed Trabelsi and Rob Bond highlight that the company has the ability to supply a range of high-quality pumps with backup and support. Additionally, its stockholding of readily available spare parts enables mines to meet all their pumping requirements through a single supplier.
“This has put us in a position to supply pumps for several projects being undertaken by minerals beneficiation company Minprotech, a company which processes downstream products from mining company Samancor’s ferrochrome mines in Steelepoort, Limpopo, and Rustenburg and Mooinooi, both in the North West.”
These projects are under way in phases and require the supply of various slurry process pumps and water pumps. “In this instance, our slurry pumps were found to be best suited for the project and our already well-proven water pumps perfectly complement the company’s requirements,” says Bond.
Significantly, the company says, this international client also found that KSB had the best after-sales support globally for such complex and demanding high production work.
Additionally, KSB has been awarded a large-scale tailings expansion project being undertaken by mining company QKR, at its Navachab gold mine, in Namibia. This project requires the supply of two trains of six LSA Series pumps – high-pressure, severe-duty slurry pumps – used in the discharge segment of the plants grinding circuit.
The two trains are designed for redundancy to ensure that pumping capacity is always available, even in the event of pump failure. Also, considering the severe nature of pumped materials and the high pressures involved, the second train allows regular maintenance to take place without compromising production.
“In this project, the supervision and expertise of the company’s Namibian branch manager, Klaus Streit, ensure that, despite the relative remoteness of the plant, the mine has full-time access to KSB expertise,” Rob adds.
Trabelsi explains that mines value the expertise of a globally connected company such as KSB, where engineered solutions can be found to ensure the right materials, types and sizes of pumps are used to reduce downtime and the number of wear parts that need to be kept on hand for the pumps. “That means that, if the mine makes the right selection, it will get the best production and longevity from its equipment,” he says.
Trabelsi notes that, in the case of pumps supplied by a competitor at Columbus Stainless, in Middleburg, reliability proved to be a problem, where the solution for the removal of steel scaling was proving problematic, owing to an excessively high number of breakdowns and abnormally high wear on exposed parts. KSB adds that aftermarket service was lacking and no solution was ever found by the previous supplier to remedy the situation.
KSB explains that it carefully analysed the requirements against the materials being pumped, as well as the volumes required, and specially designed a pumps solution based on its standard large-size 250 mm LCV heavy-duty vertical pump. The application to remove steel scaling called for a pump with high wear resistance and the ability to operate in harsh conditions with high temperatures.
“We were able to meet and exceed these requirements and, needless to say, this particular pumping circuit on our customer’s plant is no longer problematic. Our growing reputation for expertise and [high] quality has also given us the opportunity to supply Australian firm First Quantum with a trial MDX 550 mill circuit pump for its Kansanshi copper mine, in Zambia,” states Trabelsi.
This pump will primarily supply the cyclone feed for the secondary mill, where it will be the most critical production pump on the plant, delivering a constant supply of course ore material directly to the mill.
“This is one of the newer pumps that is receiving a lot of attention locally and abroad, so we are confident that its performance will meet the company’s strict requirements,” concludes Trabelsi.