Using novel techniques, during the extraction and concentration phases of mined ore, which focus on the efficiency and the associated operational costs, will yield optimum results for the miner, says pumps manufacturer and supplier Verder Pumps MD Darryl Macdougall.
For instance, emerging technology – such as peristaltic or hose pumps – can significantly contribute to enhancing returns in processing operations. This would include processes where the crushed ore is turned into a slurry, and then treated and filtered to extract the valuable/precious mineral from the valueless waste.
“The same technology also has benefits in eliminating or reducing some of the consequential negative impacts from mining,” he explains.
Peristaltic pumping technology is an emerging technology that has evolved from familiar lower-pressure, low-flow medical devices into heavy-duty, medium-pressure industrial pumping solutions. These mimic the well-proven principle of peristalsis found in the human body.
Hose pumps, meanwhile, are a simple technology, using a specially designed, reinforced rubber hose that is repeatedly compressed by a rotating pressing shoe and then allowed to relax, or respite. Macdougall states that this action results in a simple positive displacement pumping mechanism with a powerful, high-vacuum suction, dry priming action.
Hose pumps provide several attractions for process industries, including a gentle pumping action, ability to pump high specific gravity (SG) liquids with significant solid contents, dry running capabilities, low on site infrequent maintenance requirements allied to abrasion resistance to provide an innovative solution to mining pumping problems. By allowing higher SG slurries to be pumped, a hose pump can reduce process water needs and deliver significant water savings.
Macdougall highlights the increasing awareness of government, industries and society regarding the importance of sustainable management of resources, especially freshwater resources.
“Solutions that can promise a reduction in water, space and power use, chemical waste, leakage and pollution, as well as risk – while reducing capital investment and increasing overall project return-on-investment – are the types of solutions that are worth investing in,” he concludes.