Innovative valve solutions for African mines

CRUCIAL ELEMENT Valves play a crucial role in mitigating challenges and ensuring smooth operations

TAILORED SOLUTIONS CMO Valves strives to deliver valves that are highly durable and reliable, but also tailored specifically to the needs of African mining

TRENDING INNOVATIONS The company constantly explores modern design enhancements and material innovations to address the diverse challenges

4th August 2023

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer


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Mining companies operating in Africa must overcome various obstacles, and valves can play a crucial role in mitigating these challenges and ensuring smooth operations, says distribution service provider CMO Valves MD Mark Bowden.

Mining operations face several challenges, owing to the continent's challenging operational landscape, which includes remote locations, extreme weather, insufficient infrastructure and unstable political situations.

Among these challenges is the supply of reliable water sources, which can be efficiently managed to ensure less waste and that less water is used through using valves, which is “especially vital for mining operations that heavily rely on water for processing and dust suppression purposes”, he says.

Considering that infrastructure limitations often plague mining sites in Africa, Bowden says valves that are robust and resistant to harsh environmental conditions can enhance the durability and longevity of equipment, reducing maintenance time and costs.

CMO Valves, therefore, offers innovative solutions to address the unique challenges faced by mining operations in Africa.

Using these technologies enables mining companies to navigate through difficulties, improve efficiency and contribute to sustainable and responsible mining practices, he adds, highlighting that CMO's knife gate valves have proven to be “exceptionally well-suited” to the challenging mining environment in Africa.

The valves offer enhanced durability having been meticulously designed and manufactured using robust materials capable of withstanding abrasive materials and high pressures, resulting in extended valve life.

Moreover, these valves demonstrate superior performance, ensuring tight shut-off, smooth operation and reliable slurry management, which enhances the overall effectiveness of mining operations.

“CMO Valves understands the unique requirements of each mining operation in Africa and provides tailored solutions to meet specific needs, seamlessly integrating into existing systems and processes.

“By leveraging CMO's knife gate valves, mining companies in Africa can mitigate operational risks, reduce downtime and enhance their bottom line, contributing to the growth and development of the continent's mining industry,” Bowden says.

The valves are designed for remote locations with limited maintenance access, delivering “unmatched reliability and durability”, with key strategies including improved sealing technology to prevent leakage and wear, precision engineering for efficient operation, and a proactive design for easy on-site adjustments, he says.

“This ensures our valves remain reliable in remote settings, minimising maintenance time and maximising efficiency. CMO Valves collaborates closely with African mining companies, understanding their specific needs and providing customised valve solutions for seamless integration,” Bowden says.

Investment Value, Trends

CMO Valves invests substantially in advancing valve technology and enhancing operational efficiency in the mining industry.

“The demanding African mining landscape requires valves that can withstand extreme conditions while maximising productivity and safety. CMO Valves embraces this challenge and continuously improves its robust knife gate valves to meet these unique requirements,” states Bowden.

Additionally, the company’s research and development team, in collaboration with CMO Spain, constantly explores modern design enhancements and material innovations to address the diverse challenges encountered by African mining operations.

Through close collaboration with industry experts and extensive field trials, CMO Valves strives to deliver valves that are “not only highly durable and reliable, but also tailored specifically to the needs of African mining”.

To achieve this, the company establishes strong partnerships with mining companies across the continent, actively participates in rigorous testing and ensures that their knife gate valves “consistently surpass industry standards and exceed client expectations”, he adds.

CMO Valves also anticipates significant trends and innovations that will improve mining operations on the continent as the mining industry moves towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced era.

“The valves market stands out as an area experiencing remarkable enhancements. Futuristic innovations are shaping the way mines operate, promising increased efficiency, safety and productivity,” Bowden says.

Some of these innovations includes the integration of technologies, such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, which modernise systems at mines.

Smart valves with data analytics capabilities actively monitor and regulate flow rates, detect faults in real time and predict maintenance requirements, consequently improving performance while reducing downtime.

Additionally, with remote operations becoming prevalent, efficient remote valve control is essential, he says, noting that remote actuators and control panels allow for centralised management, reducing costs, enhancing safety and eliminating the need for on-site personnel.

Advanced wearables, such as augmented reality glasses or haptic gloves, provide valves operators with real-time updates, troubleshooting assistance and remote support. This improves operational efficiency, operator safety and training.

Further, in line with global sustainability efforts, valves are also being developed using biodegradable sealants, ecofriendly materials and energy efficient designs. These solutions contribute to reduced resource consumption and improved environmental performance.

“The future of the valve market for mines is filled with possibilities as technology continues to advance. As mining professionals, let's stay informed, embrace these innovations, and work together to shape a brighter and more sustainable future for mining operations worldwide,” Bowden concludes.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer


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