The South African mining industry “insists on value for money”, which has led to companies’ analysing entire life-cycle costs when making buying decisions, says pumps manufacturer, supplier and solutions company Centex Africa MD Theo Philippou.
The increased attention to detail has resulted in increased growth in the mining pumps sector.
“Better materials of construction and better efficiencies are being considered more carefully, and this is where we are seeing our biggest growth,” says Philippou.
Centex is a solutions-driven company that considers systems in their entirety to find strategies to improve life-cycle costs and implement best engineering practices.
The company prioritises customer satisfaction in terms of design, quality, efficiency and operational costs, he explains.
In line with its aims of adding value to the mining industry, Centex has offered two “relatively unique products to the industry” – the Lily Pad and the Godzilla dewatering pumps.
The Lily Pad solution assists mines with shallow-water dewatering, tailings dam return water, pollution control, pit dewatering and raw water extraction from shallow ponds.
It is a high-density polyethylene floating intake with flow capabilities up to 1 000 m3/h.
Owing to its unique design and antivortex ribs, the Lily Pad allows for the pumping of water without creating vortices in water as low as 400 mm.
“Customers have had a favourable response to the Lily Pad, with the unit now being specified by name in tender documents,” adds Philippou.
The Godzilla solution is a dual-purpose, dewatering diesel-driven pumpset for use above or below ground. It was designed for emergency flood conditions at the entrance to box cuts and large pools of water below ground.
The solution comprises pumps manufacturer Cornell’s Redi-prime pump, which is driven by automotive manufacturer Volvo’s six-cylinder diesel engine, capable of 1 100 m3/h at 81 m and operating at a hydraulic pump efficiency of 81% while passing a 100 mm solid, elaborates Philippou.
A request from a client led to the development of the multi-purpose pumpset that can be used above and below ground while adhering to necessary safety legislation.
The engine is fitted with an exhaust scrubber to eliminate fumes, as well as a fire-suppression system that will automatically activate in the event of a fire. The Confined Spaces Act and the potential for fires underground prompted Centex to offer the latter feature, says Philippou.
The Godzilla is built on a skid that can fit in an underground shaft, where height restrictions are an issue, and be dragged or pushed using a bucket excavator or load haul dumper.
“Our client was extremely happy and even named the unit Godzilla, which has stuck,” adds Philippou.
Centex Africa offers services such as pump and system design, flywheels and surge suppression, pontoon design, suction intake design and turbo compressors.