The current mining industry trend towards cost saving has led to a steady increase in demand in Australia and the South-East Asian region for products from pumps and pressure cleaners manufacturer Australian Pump Industries, or Aussie Pumps.
“We expect similar interest from Africa, where we know less sophisticated equipment is available,” says Aussie Pumps MD Warwick Lorenz, highlighting that the company is negotiating the licensed manufacture and/or limited assembly of its product offering in South Africa.
“We are proud of what we have achieved and look forward to working in Africa,” he adds.
He emphasises that the challenges facing mines in Australia are the same as those dealt with by mines worldwide, particularly the harsh conditions in the African mining industry. The company’s products are specifically developed to withstand conditions, such as drought, floods and extreme temperatures, which often plague the mining and agriculture industries in Africa.
ecent successes in Africa include the implementation of diesel hydrostatic testers reaching pressures of up to 7 000 psi and 4" heavy-duty Aussie Mine Boss trash pumps on the Kenya and Somali border.
To lower costs, Lorenz says, mining companies need to acquire equipment that will not break down, with pumps performing even in the most trying conditions.
“Our job at Aussie Pumps is to work with miners to provide equipment that is more sophisticated but built so tough that we would equate it to a Caterpillar crawler dozer if we were talking about that class of equipment.”
Lorenz claims that the Sydney-based company’s aftermarket and pumps selection support also reduces the total cost of ownership of pumps used in the mining sector.
He stresses Aussie Pumps’ commitment to delivering aftermarket care that inevitably saves customers time and money.
believes that the company can provide such devoted care because it does not have to contend with the same issues as large corporations, explaining that, “as a small company with a staff complement of less than 50 people, we are able to specialise and provide a level of service and staff commitment not found in big corporations”. As it does not have to contend with “shareholders demanding dividends”, Aussie Pumps can focus on consumer satisfaction as opposed to enhancing its profit.
The mining industry relies heavily on pumps and piping systems, as they are crucial for transporting product, evacuating waste and dewatering, Lorenz notes. Therefore, not only is a broken or faulty pumps system dangerous, because it could lead to flooding in mine shafts, it can also cost a company valuable production time.
Lorenz tells Mining Weekly that “all mining companies are only interested in productivity and efficiency levels”, owing to these aspects translating directly in profitability, further emphasising that every day that a mine is shut down is a day of production lost.
The loss of a pump can bring production to a grinding halt and Lorenz posits that Aussie Pumps’ customer assistance in selecting the correct pump and aftercare maintenance is one of the company’s greatest assets, as it results in actual savings for mining companies.
Aussie Pumps also prioritises educating market specialists within companies on the selection of pumps best suited to the requirements of a particular task. “Even well trained and highly qualified mining engineers can make pump selection errors. Our job is to educate them by producing documentation, training courses and similar information that allows for the correct product to be designed and supplied . . . ,” stresses Lorenz.