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Pump longevity improves gold mine performance

Supplier: KSB Australia
17 February, 2011

GIW Industries recently installed a 150 LCC 20(XH) cyclone feed pump at a gold mine in a remote region of Northeast Peru.

GIW Industries, the leader in the design, manufacture and application of heavy-duty, centrifugal slurry pumps, in conjunction with its exclusive representative in Peru, Tecniflow S.A.C., provided the mine with a reliable pump solution that dramatically exceeded expectations.

At the time the pump was installed, the mine was also testing two additional pumps from GIW's top competitors.

The pumps faced a formidable task in harsh conditions: moving raw ore and water (slurry) inside the plant from the Mill Discharge to the Cyclone Clusters — where small particles of ore are sent to the flotation circuit in order to recover the sulfides that contain the gold.

The rough particulates in the slurry are extremely corrosive, and slurry pumps tend to wear out quickly in such conditions.

Ultimately, the competitors could not contend with the lifecycle of the GIW LCC pump. Competitor 1's suction plate lasted 10 days (240 hours); competitor 2's suction plate lasted 40 days (960 hours).

But GIW's LCC pump dramatically improved performance in relation to any previous pumps used in the gold mine, with a total lifecycle of 1500 hours for the suction liner, 1500 hours for the impeller and over 1500 hours for the shell.

The mine recognised GIW's LCC pump as a success because of its outstanding wear life and for matching the required cycle time.

"What made the GIW LCC pump outlast the competition can be summarised in three parts," said Elias Aho, GIW's regional sales manager for Latin America.

"First, GIW and Tecniflow conducted an initial full spectrum system analysis at the the gold mine. Then, based on the findings, we selected the appropriate pump for the system as well as the operational conditions.

"Finally, GIW and Tecniflow pride themselves on offering only the best materials and hydraulics compared to any of our competitors. With these steps in place, GIW was poised to surpass the competition, increase wear life, and reduce the need for maintenance and downtime."

GIW further reduced downtime at the mine through its partnership with Tecniflow. Although the region's cold and extreme weather conditions have little affect on the operation of the slurry system, the remote location of the gold mine makes accessibility to spare parts an issue.

Any downtime at the mine waiting for the transport of spare parts ultimately means the plant is losing gold. With the ability to house spare parts nearby, GIW and Tecniflow were able to significantly extend uptime at the mine.

To date, the mine is extremely pleased with the continued success of the LCC pump and is interested in testing GIW's LSA pump for their heavy-duty applications in the future.