Campaign to build in-depth understanding of mining dewatering

30th January 2015

Campaign to build  in-depth understanding  of mining dewatering

KNOWLEDGE DRIVE A key aim of the “OneMine@ a Time” campaign is to build an in-depth understanding of the dewatering requirements of the mining industry

Boksburg-based pumps supplier Integrated Pump Technology has launched its OneMine@ a Time campaign to build an in-depth understanding of the dewatering requirements of the mining industry.

“We are striving to comprehend the specific needs of all of our individual clients, as we can only hope to get closer to our customers if we have a thorough understanding of their applications and processes,” Integrated Pump Technology CEO Graham Russell says.

He adds that the campaign will also in future be extended to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Integrated Pump Technology has a strong presence in Africa, with distributor EC Mining of Zambia representing the Grindex pumps brand in Zambia and the DRC.

Integrated Pump Technology’s recent orders include 20 Bravo 900 heavy-duty submersible slurry pumps and 20 M20 control panels, as well as about 50 stainless steel Inox pumps that were supplied to DRC-based copper and cobalt miner Katanga Mining over the last six months.

Integrated Pump Technology export sales manager Chris Heunes adds that EC Mining is in the process of establishing a fully-fledged service and repair facility at Katanga Mining to cater for its aftermarket needs.

“It already has a full service and repair facility in Kitwe, Zambia, and a branch in Lubumbashi, in the DRC,” Heunes notes.

However, with growth in the South African mining industry being muted at best, countries such as the DRC represent a foothold on the continent.

“We are definitely looking at investing more time and resources into entering Africa, which is where the growth is. We do not want to lose our focus on South Africa, but are looking at adapting our business model to take into account opportunities elsewhere,” Integrated Pump Technology sales GM Klint Bawden adds.

An important component of this strategy is the establishment of service and repair facilities. “We are also looking to expand our product range by adding self-priming diesel units, which are ideal for opencast mining applications where submersible pumps cannot be used,” Bawden says.

Integrated Pump Technology will also look at diversifying into other market segments, such as general industry and construction. “This makes particular sense, in light of the fact that we can piggyback off our involvement in the mining industry, as mine-related infrastructure and development is a burgeoning sector in Africa,” Heunes adds.

Meanwhile, Russell is optimistic about the company’s prospects for growth going forward. “South Africa is faced with various socioeconomic constraints related to the global economic and commodity downturn, as well as domestic issues such as the rising cost of labour, which is partially balanced out by growth in Africa as a whole. We are still a relatively small business, but are doing exceptionally well overall, especially in Africa. Further, we are seeing significant investment in the continent.”

Bawden highlights that Integrated Pump Technology is the exclusive distributor in Southern Africa for the world’s third-largest submersible pump manufacturer, Grindex of Sweden.

Integrated Pump Technology’s newly built 1 200 m2 service facility supports this distribution structure in terms of sales, repairs and rental offerings. The facility also encompasses a state- of-the-art automated pump test facility.

Grindex submersible pumps have been available in South Africa for 25 years.

“The main innovation of the Grindex dewatering product family is the capability of the sub-18 kW range to run dry,” he highlights. This is as a result of a unique air valve integrated into the pump, which allows the impeller to pass air instead of water past the motor in a dry run condition. A patented smart motor protector ensures prevention of thermal overload, phase loss and ensures phase rotation protection.

The Grindex sludge range also has all the advantages of the dewatering range, coupled with a recessed vortex impeller and split hydraulics with replaceable rubber linings, Bawden told Mining Weekly in September. This makes the sludge units capable of greater solids handling with increased abrasion resistance.

Lightweight aluminium construction means that these highly portable and robust pumps are ideal for underground face dewatering, he reiterates.

Grindex dewatering and sludge pumps are available in 316 stainless steel, with the pumps’ capacity of handling pH values between 2 and 13 making them ideal for process applications.

Meanwhile, Grindex also manufactures a range of pedigree slurry pumps. These units, with a total hard chrome construction are designed to move medium to heavy slurries with high abrasive content without sacrificing abrasion resistance, production downtime or efficiency.