Engineering & Mining Journal

MAY 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 74 of 83

MAY 2019 • E&MJ 73 PROCESSING SOLUTIONS operational disruptions as they required frequent maintenance and increased the customer's operating costs. David Aldrich, product manager for Weir's Floway pump line, explained that the wear parts of VTPs, such as the sleeve bearings, impeller/bowl wear rings, me- chanical seal/packing and impellers, are typically the most susceptible to the wear caused by applications with a higher con- centration of suspended solids. This is why most VTP manufacturers only guar- antee performance with a maximum sol- ids concentration of 1%-3% by weight. To increase pump life and decrease maintenance downtimes, the customer installed Floway's Vertical Turbine Solids Handling Pump (VTSP). This model, ac- cording to Weir, will pump fl uids with sol- ids concentrations up to 10% by weight, with peaks as high as 20% by weight. The VTSP includes a patented sealed-for-life bearing, which requires no external fl ush. It also includes a slurry type seal with a throat-mounted isolation device, which prevents the need for external fl ushing of the seal faces. Other wear parts and areas such as the impellers and bearing jour- nals are offered in hardened materials for optimal wear resistance. According to Weir, after installing the VTSP units, driven by the original motors, the wear life on the pumps in- creased from an average of 300 hours to more than 1,000 hours. The result was a 3X-plus increase in MTBF. Weir attributes the increase in overall pump life large- ly to the Floway patented sealed-for-life bearing design, slurry mechanical seal, isolation device and hardened materials on the wear parts. In addition, the VTSP design eliminated the need for any type of external fl ushing, which prevented the risk of dry running the bearings and seals. The VTSP units were drop-in replace- ments for three standard VTP units with no piping or foundation modifi cations re- quired. The mine currently operates with half of the pumps as regular VTPs and the other half with VTSPs, but is considering replacing the remainder of the standard VTP units with the VTSP. The VTSP, said Aldrich, proved its value by dramatically reducing operational costs and improving system reliability for the customer. Switching from standard vertical turbine pumps (VTPs) to Weir's Floway Vertical Turbine Solids Handing Pumps (VTSPs) boosts pump wear life from an average of 300 hours to more than 1,000 hours. Car Dumper Installation Advances Guinea Bauxite Project The Guinea Alumina Corp. (GAC) bauxite mine project in the Boké region of Guinea, Africa, re- cently achieved a major construction milestone in April when the project team safely set the car dumper facility's 450-ton rotating assembly in place. Fluor is providing engineering and program management services on the project, which encompasses a 12-million-metric-ton-per-year bauxite mine, a dedicated export terminal in Port Kamsar and rail and other infrastructure up- grades. Bauxite from the mine will be delivered to the Port Kamsar site by rail, then shipped to customers. At the port, the car dumper facility unloads bauxite from the rail wagons. The proj- ect is expected to be completed in 2019. It took three days, multiple self-propelled modular transporters and two 750-ton cranes to complete the operation. The fi nal lift required special preparations in order to hoist the 450- ton assembly over the car dumper facility's walls and into its fi nal location. A 200-person team, representing 14 different countries and con- tractors, completed the lift. Two 750-ton-capacity cranes lift the rotator assembly in to place at Guinea Aluminum Corp.'s car dumper facility at Port Kamsar.

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