Local pumps importer and distributor AQS Liquid Transfer is the sole supplier of industrial pumps manufacturers Sandpiper and Versamatic air-operated double diaphragm (AODD) pumps for the South African mining sector.
An AODD pump uses compressed air to move liquids or solids up or down a pipe network.
The air is vented and pumped constantly from two chambers on either side of the pump, creating a continual pumping action that allows goods to move against gravity or downwards into the mine safely and efficiently.
AODD pumps are usually a more cost-effective option when compared to other pumping methods as the design is simple yet effective.
It is also easier to clean or install pump stands on these pumps for cleaning purposes. These features make them ideal for sanitation, the food industry, and especially, mining operations.
AQS Liquid Transfer notes that mining pumps must be highly reliable to safely transport the water and liquids that are essential to mining operations.
The pumps need to be secure, sanitary and efficient to avoid jeopardising the metallurgical and mining processes.
Pumps are used for a variety of essential functions, including transporting water and slurries for treatment, and sometimes for the safe delivery of oil for mining machinery.
The company says that an AODD pump can fulfil all the liquid transportation requirements needed to ensure a successful mining operation.
Notably, AODD pumps run off compressed air rather than electricity, making them extremely useful for the transportation of flammable liquids, as the risk of on-site accidents is reduced.
They can be safely grounded in explosive environments, making them invaluable in mining operations, where fumes and methane gas are a real risk.
AQS Liquid Transfer notes that AODD pumps also have no seals, significantly reducing the risk of costly leaks throughout the pumping network.
Moreover, the AODD pumps can transport solids, not just liquids, meaning that solids can be transported securely up and down the network with significantly less risk of blockages.
Over 20% of pump damage is caused by clogs and blockages, which can derail the entire mining operation, the company says, adding that traditional pumps for mining may not be equipped to handle solids, which may lead to pump damage and costly repairs.
However, the AODD ball valve pumps can handle solids just under 20 mm in diameter, keeping solids moving continuously.
The pumps can operate even when dry, making them ideal for mining operations like dewatering.
“Traditional pumps can only operate without water for less than a minute without sustaining damage such as cracks, leaks and substantial damage, which would hold up mining operations and result in repair costs.”
The company states that a damaged pump can cost as much as $100 000/h, owing to lost operations and overall repair costs.
The AODD pumps are suitable for use throughout a mining site and can be quickly manoeuvred into difficult-to-reach locations and are rugged enough to be dragged without sustaining damage, says AQS Liquid Transfer.
The pumps come with several base options, providing stability even in harsh mining conditions and locations.
The AODD pump is lauded for its simplicity, in that should an AODD pump require repairs, it can be undertaken on site without the need for extensive training or a need to transport it up to the surface.
The pumps can also be easily transported, and once mounted can start working without the need for a complex setup.
Clean Is Safe
Water sanitation is a key part of any mining operation, whereby contaminated water is transported away for treatment before re-entering the water system.
AQS Liquid Transfer comments that statistics indicate that over 500 000 abandoned mines in the US alone will cause up to $20-billion’s worth of damage to the environment.
“It is therefore essential to have an established water sanitation process along all mining operations.”
The company says that, not only do AODD pumps provide the means of transportation for contaminated water but they help with the sanitation process.
Many AODD pumps are made with stainless steel to stop materials clinging to the pump network, and the lack of seals or complex setup minimises the chance for substance build-up.
“With an AODD pump, a client can be confident that its sanitised water will not be re-contaminated on its way back into the water supply.”
The company adds that its pumps can handle various pressures, flows, viscosities and depths, as well as submersion, as long as the exhaust remains above water.
Standard pumps can handle over 8 bar, or 80 m of water, while high-pressure units can handle over 16 bar.
The company notes that the client can also facilitate speedy materials transportation as an AODD pump can handle flow rates of over 1 000 ℓ/min.
As mentioned, AODD pumps are suitable for several mining applications including dewatering, fuel transport, sanitation and the movement of solvents.
The company explains that there are different forms of dewatering, such as drift, face or belt dewatering, or the transportation of mud and slurry which the pump can also accommodate.
AQS Liquid Transfer boasts a “notable range” of mining pumps to suit all its clients’ pumping needs.
According to its website, the company has, over the past 18 years, served in the pumps industry with a vast product variety that caters for the mining, industrial, agricultural and utility markets. AQS Liquid Transfer’s site also states that it values the “strong partnerships” it has with its suppliers and clients, adding that it strives to “consistently unlock value for every customer, every time, by providing trusted pumping solutions within a culture of adaptability and passion”.
Edited by: Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor
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