Australian pumps specialist Aussie Pump Industries, also known as Aussie Pumps, has noted a significant increase in the use of hydraulic drive trash pumps, which eliminates the use of internal combustion engines, says chief engineer John Hales.
“Our trash pumps can be adapted for hydraulic drive, making them suitable for handling solids. In some applications, in metalliferous mines in Western Australia, for example, our trash pumps are working underground, powered by Yanmar diesel engines.”
Aussie Pumps’ range of diesel trash pumps are fitted with spark arrestors and often work in ambient temperatures higher than 40 ºC, with the pumps having been designed to handle a wide range of abrasive slurry.
“The pumps are built in heavy-duty, galvanised roll frames, so they can be moved around underground without effort by fuels-handling equipment.”
Hales says the pumps are also equipped with battery isolation E Stop and a fire extinguisher as an added safety precaution.
“The heavy-duty 38 mm frame comes with a balanced lifting bar, which allows for its being moved on site by whatever plant is available without damaging the pump or engine. The pump and engine are the expensive parts of the kit and to put it in a lightweight frame, is asking for trouble.”
Site Boss Pump
Hales says a refinement of the Site Boss pumps range, which forms part of the company’s trash pumps offering, was developed in 2015 specifically for the mining industry, where occupational health and safety rules are tight.
He notes that large mining companies and equipment rental businesses like Coates Hire are major users of the products.
“The pumps in the range offer flows of between 600 ℓ/m and 1 600 ℓ/m, and heads as high as 28 m. Part of the Aussie Pumps quick prime range of trash pumps are super heavy-duty and come with a capability of self-priming from vertical depths of as much as 7.6 m.”
Hales says the company has four trash pumps working on the gasfields of oil and gas exploration company Tullow Oil, in northern Kenya. Tullow also uses Aussie Pumps’ heavy- duty 500 bar pressure cleaners for mine equipment wash down. Several trash pumps have also been sold in Ghana.
Hales says the company has worked hard to develop pumps that prime better than those of competitors and can lift water from even lower depths.
“Our designs for the pumps were driven by our experiences with the Australian mining industry and we have seen what happens to standard commercial pumps of this type operating in those conditions.”
Refining the design of our volute and impellers to reduce clearance spaces without losing the ability to handle solids in suspension was a big design challenge, he adds.
Further, the company’s recently developed 316 stainless steel configuration self-priming pumps have had great success in underground copper and gold mines in Australia, where the mine water and leachates are exceptionally corrosive.
The new pumps were developed using corrosive resistant material. They will self-prime from over 6 m and provide versatile pumping of corrosive mine liquids containing silt or light slurries.
“We are quite confident that the hydraulic drive versions of our pumps will receive significant attention in mining, but the pumps are already available in a 415 V, 50 Hz and 60 Hz configurations.”
He says if Aussie Pumps’ pumps can change the efficiency and cost control of underground mining by providing those services where electric drive pumps are inappropriate, “then we have achieved our goals”.