Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2018

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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JUNE 2018 • E&MJ 99 www.e-mj.com PROCESSING SOLUTIONS • Readjust the impeller as needed. • Record gauge readings. Quarterly – Quarterly tasks involve more hands-on duties and may require the attention of a skilled on-staff me- chanic, but they could mean the differ- ence between a well-functioning pump and a catastrophic failure. • Empty used lubricant and replace with fresh oil. • Check the V-belt for signs of wear and to ensure proper tension. • Clean the V-belt and pulley grooves. • Clean and oil studs and threads on the motor base and gland. • Inspect the stuffi ng box for wear and re-pack. Semiannually – These maintenance tasks are important because, rather than checking pump parts, they involve in- specting the entire pump. • Fully inspect the entire pump. • Clean bearings and bearing housings, then refi ll with fresh oil. • Inspect and fl ush drains as well as seal water piping. • Check that the pump and motor are aligned. Throughout all maintenance phases, it's imperative to maintain accurate up-to- date records using consistent methods. If multiple employees at the facility record in- strument and gauge readings, be sure they follow the same procedure every time, so re- cords are easy to read and compare. And, of course, if anyone notices any change in the way the pump sounds, inspect the pump as soon as possible. By performing these tasks daily, weekly, and a few additional times per year, miners can keep their pumps running their best at all times — instead of deal- ing with poorly maintained pumps causing problems or stopping altogether. Martin Issues Tips for Keeping Respirable Silica Under Control In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) respirable crystalline silica (RCS) dust emissions Final Rule [OSHA §1910.1000 Respirable crystalline silica] compliance deadline for general industry is June 23. Martin Engineering, a leading supplier of bulk material handling equipment, recently issued a press release remind- ing silica dust-producing operations in the U.S. and elsewhere that the health of their employees can be protected from RCS emissions by use of fi eld-prov- en equipment as part of an engineered control system to minimize dust, forced downtime and potential fi nes in countries with formal dust control regulations. "We believe dust control doesn't need to come at the expense of production or profi ts but should support operations and deliver a return on investment," said Jerad Heitzler, Foundations train- ing manager at Martin Engineering. "Al- though added regulations are always a strain on any business, compliance is an opportunity to assess aging systems and improve effi ciency." Why Regulate? Due to the small size, RCS of PM10 (par- ticulate matter ≤10 microns [µm]) can penetrate the body's natural defenses (mucus membranes, cilia, etc.), reaching deep into the lungs. Invisible to the na- ked eye and able to travel long distances on ambient air currents, workers are often unaware of lingering RCS and take off protective masks, risking exposure and potentially contracting silicosis over time. Silicosis is a chronic and irreparable disease that affects millions of workers in a wide variety of industries. Without proper protection, workers with extensive exposure can experience a buildup of RCS deep in the lungs, restricting lung capacity. Silicosis can potentially lead to more harmful and life-threatening lung ailments such as pneumonia, pulmonary tuberculosis and lung cancer. With this in mind, not only does the OSHA Final Rule require regular monitor- ing by the employer, but it also sets per- sonal exposure limits (PEL) and suggests engineering controls and particulate isola- tion rather than putting the entire onus of wearing uncomfortable respirators on the employees. By doing this, regulators also limit fugitive dust emissions from leaving the site line and exposing the wider public. "The RCS regulations are touching a wide range of industries," said Heitzler. "Some operations can implement a sin- gle solution, whereas others create dust throughout the entire process and require unique solutions at each stage." Compliance Companies are required to follow OSHA's rules of compliance by using a personal- dust monitor worn by a trained employee to monitor the amount of RCS and deter- mine whether the exposure is under the average "action level" of 25 µg/m 3 (mi- Technicians perform semi-annual maintenance checks on a large GIW slurry pump.

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