AESSEAL’s innovative sealing solutions drive sustainability in Botswana’s mining operations

24th May 2024


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In a recent interview, AESSEAL South Africa MD Shane Chester discussed how the company is revolutionising the mining industry in Botswana with its innovative sealing solutions, focusing on the significant achievements in operational efficiency and sustainability.

Chester began by highlighting a particularly successful initiative at one of the largest mines in the world, located in a notably arid region of Africa. He explained, “This mining operation faced tremendous challenges with its Warman F-frame pumps, which were initially sealed with gland packing that required an unsustainable 71 ℓ/m of water per pump. Given the severe water scarcity in such arid regions, this level of consumption was not only inefficient but also environmentally unsustainable.”

Responding to these challenges, the mine approached AESSEAL for a solution that would reduce water usage and increase the durability of the pump systems. 

Chester detailed the approach taken: “We recommended retrofitting their existing equipment with double mechanical seals along with a comprehensive water management system. This system was implemented across 18 Warman 6X E-frame and 12x10 F-frame slurry pumps.”

The results, as Chester described, were nothing short of transformative. “The closed frame liners and our new sealing systems have not only shielded the seals from high-velocity slurry impacts, effectively extending their operational life, but have also significantly reduced the mine’s water consumption.” He proudly added, “After seven years in operation, these seals are still performing excellently, with the mine reporting a staggering 4.1-billion liters in water savings, equating to about $3.9-million in cost savings.”

Chester also emphasised the technological aspects of the solutions provided by AESSEAL. “Our dual mechanical seal system, enhanced by a pressurised barrier tank system, ensures that clean, cool water is fed at a higher pressure than the slurry. This setup not only creates a stable and clean environment for the seal faces but also enhances the durability of the pumps and reduces the likelihood of operational disruptions like cavitation or dry running.”

Wrapping up the interview, Chester reflected on the broader impact of AESSEAL’s contributions to the mining sector in Botswana. “Our commitment to providing cutting-edge sealing solutions has allowed us to not only optimise pump performance but also tackle significant environmental and economic challenges faced by the mining industry. By extending the life of mining equipment and dramatically reducing water usage, we’re proving that efficient and sustainable operations are achievable and beneficial to the broader goals of the industry.”

Chester’s insights underscore AESSEAL’s role as a leader in the field, committed to advancing mining technology and promoting sustainability within one of the globe’s most resource-intensive industries.

AESSEAL has a longstanding and respected relationship with the mining and minerals industry, globally, providing sealing solutions for some of the most challenging high-pressure slurry pump applications.  These solutions help reduce water consumption and enhance reliability.

AESSEAL has experience in sealing nearly all major slurry equipment types and models, including those from well-known manufacturers like Warman, Denver Orion, Goulds and KSB.

Our slurry seal range, featuring models such as the CDPH, HDDSS, and UHDDS, offers solutions for the most demanding applications, saving customers thousands of rands.  These seals are built to endure harsh environments and can be equipped with exotic wetted components if needed.  Additionally, our HPVD seals have proven to be reliable in large autoclaves used for leaching metals from rock.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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