Peristaltic pumps save water costs at silver mine
The lack of sufficient water, plus the high cost of pumping water to move slurry at 35 percent solids and 65 percent water at a Mexican silver mine forced the mining operation to look for better alternatives to its centrifugal pumps. They also needed a pump that was less susceptible to intense wear from coarse particles.
In December 2006, operators installed three Flowrox LPP-T 2.5-inch single roller peristaltic pumps on the underflow of a rakeless paste thickener. The pumps require only 25 percent of the water previously needed to move the ore, which saves in waste handling and also reduces one or more stages of filtration.
The pumps are still pumping at 75 percent concentration. The rolling design of the pumps also extends hose life and downtime. One compression per revolution is more efficient and saves on downtime and maintenance. The cost savings in water has been as high as $175,000 per year. 410/636-2250; www.flowrox.us.
Slurry pump used to dispose of tailings at mine site
In 2012, a Nevada gold ore mining and milling facility needed upgrades on a large thickener unit that supported the dewatering of tailings waste. The upgrades required the unit to be taken offline. The plant operator opted to temporarily bypass the thickener unit and reclaim the clearer liquid at the tailings pond, requiring changes to the process, piping system and overall operation. Because the pumps supplying the tailings thickener feed couldn’t be increased in speed due to design limitations, the operator rerouted the piping to a small storage tank, which would serve as a tailings collection reservoir. The reservoir would then feed the pump that delivers the tailings to the pond. Space constraints allowed the installation of only one pump with no room for a spare. If that pump went down, the tailings couldn’t be disposed of, resulting in wasted energy consumption and a possible plant shutdown.
ITT Goulds Pumps was contacted and the operator was offered a field trial with the 125XHD extra-heavy-duty lined slurry pump and invoice issuance only if the pump met or exceeded preapproved expectations.
The pump, which was supplied and installed with HC-600 liners and constructed with a half-straddle motor mount, V-belt drive and a 75 hp motor, surpassed 5,000 hours of operation without incident, achieving all targets. Facility maintenance personnel favor it because of its disassembly/reassembly ease and strong performance, and anticipate using it in additional applications. 315/568-2811; www.gouldspumps.com.
Pumping station protects public land from spills
Engineering water transfers is a key component to fracking, and when Bureau of Land Management-owned land requirements in California are introduced to the project, the difficulty can ramp up quickly. When an upstream oil company needed a complicated high-flow water transfer across more than a mile with elevation changes of over 425 feet, they chose Rain for Rent to engineer the water transfer needs.
A three stage pumping station water transfer system was designed to meet the needed 1,500 gpm for fracking. Water was staged in a mobile frac pond more than a mile from the drilling site. Access was limited to a single-lane unpaved road, and all equipment had to be staged at government-defined areas. All pipe used in the transfer could only be laid along the access road to reach the frac site, and had to permit a free flow of large equipment as the frac pad was staged with equipment. Four DV200 8-inch centrifugal pumps fed water through four 2,000 gpm filtration units and toward the frac site. Two booster stations comprised of two HH225C 8-inch centrifugal high-head pumps each allowed an uninterrupted water transfer to reach the frac site across varying levels of terrain and elevation changes.
More than a half million gallons were transferred to the frac site, and BLM officials were pleased with the environmentally aware water transfer and utilization of Spillguard spill containment barriers under all liquid handling equipment. 800/742-7246; www.rainforrent.com.