Tag Archives: Weir Minerals Africa

ABRASIVE SOLIDS HANDLING MADE SIMPLE WITH THE NEW WARMAN SUBMERSIBLE PUMP

The new, high chrome Warman® SSB-A submersible pump from Weir Minerals presents a versatile pump and robust solution for slurry and sludge removal.

“Conceptualised and commercialised by Weir Minerals Africa, the Warman® SSB-A pump is well suited for duty in Africa,” says Marnus Koorts, Product Manager – Pumps at Weir Minerals Africa. 

Engineered for abrasive applications and for handling solid particles, the pump’s applications include mine dewatering, removing mill scale and cleaning up sumps as well as moving slurry, coal-pile run-off or dirty water with a solids content of up to 60% by volume. Koorts highlights that the pump can be moved easily between applications, so is ideal for dealing with temporary problems such as pipe bursts or leakage.

The hard-wearing design includes casting the casing, impeller and wear plates from Weir Minerals’ Ultrachrome® A05 high-chrome alloy, while the motor is designed for continuous and efficient operation though using the pumped media to assist in dissipating heat build-up in the motor windings.

“This durability enhances the range of applications in which the pump can be deployed, including even hardened slurry,” he says. “Customers will move the unit around extensively to wherever it is needed, so we designed the outer housing to avoid snagging by ensuring there are no points that could potentially hook or break as the pump is transported and operated.”

The impeller radial load is balanced out by the opposing forces created by the twin-volute discharge. This stabilises the pump during operation, allowing it to be placed in any position without the risk of oscillating, he says. The design also optimises the life of the cantilevered shaft and its components. 

“Users of the Warman SSB pump can also choose to run it in manual or the optional extra, in automatic mode,” Koorts says. “The automatic mode provides the convenience of self-monitoring water levels, switching on and off as required.” 

Electrical control philosophies can be adapted to suit site applications, such as over-current protection, an earth leakage circuit breaker, while the safety delay feature can reduce the number of starts per hour. 

“The robust, fit-for-purpose design makes this pump a reliable and cost effective solution in a wide range of duties,” says Koorts. “It represents the ideal combination of wear resistant materials and specialist hydraulic engineering.”

NEW GENERATION CAVEX® HYDROCYCLONE BOOSTS THROUGHPUT, WEAR LIFE

Weir Minerals has launched its Cavex® 2 hydrocyclone, which is an exciting improvement on the successful Cavex® hydrocyclone launched in the 1990s.

The design of the new generation model ensures a step-change in separation performance and reduced turbulence, says Lerato Ramanala, product manager hydrocyclones for Africa and the Middle East at Weir Minerals Africa. 

“The Cavex 2 hydrocyclone improves the design of the 360⁰ laminar spiral inlet, which delivered a step-change in separation performance and reduced turbulence,” says Ramanala. “The new design includes the LIG+ advanced laminar spiral inlet and a longer feed chamber, further reducing turbulence and classifying a higher volume of feed slurry.”

She highlights that the Cavex® 2 has the same footprint as the original Cavex® hydrocyclone – and competitor cyclones – so retrofitting is a simple process. Customers can benefit not only from the increased throughput capacity but through operational flexibility by being able to take hydrocyclones offline for maintenance without affecting process flow. 

Results from Cavex® 2 hydrocyclones installed across the globe have shown that it maximises plant recovery by reducing the quantity of misclassified particles; the alpha parameter improves by an average of 10% while the bypass improves by an average of over 15%. Fewer fines are returned to the mill, and mines can reduce their carbon footprint by consuming less energy for small particle reduction.

The Cavex® 2 accommodates the company’s in-house Synertrex® industrial internet of things (IIOT) technology, which detects sub-optimal operating conditions like roping in real time and improves overall performance. This aligns with mining industry efforts to leverage digital technology to create mines of the future. 

The shape of the liner has also been improved leading to longer life, less downtime for maintenance and lower total cost of ownership. Liners are available in a range of materials including industry‑leading Linatex® premium rubber and other robust Weir Minerals natural rubbers such as R55®.

HIGH FLEXIBILITY, LOWER COST WITH MOBILE PUMPHOUSE

Pumping slurry to tailings facilities requires a solution that can move as the dam expands to make room for additional tailings, making Weir Minerals Africa’s mobile pumphouse ideal for the purpose.

“A mobile pumphouse completely avoids the cost of any civil engineering for permanent on-site pump buildings,” says Weir Minerals Africa Pumps Product Manager Marnus Koorts. “Instead, it is designed to be moved as required across the site, using its own specifically engineered, skid and jack-and-roll elements.”

Koorts says the offering is part of Weir Minerals Africa’s engineered-to-order (ETO) solutions, which also reduces the long term total cost of ownership. The three-point Warman® Multiflo® pump mounting system allows the base and skid to act independently. This minimises the risk of misalignment between the pump and motor shaft during operation and relocation. The unit incorporates an integral gland water supply system and a separate electronic house (E-house) for power control and remote communication.

Koorts highlights that as a mine’s process plant matures the tailings line grows with new tailings dams being created, often using Linatex hoses and Isogate valves. It is a significant advantage to be able to move the pumphouse, and to add pumps to the tailings line if the increased distance requires more pressure. It is also an important contributor to reducing initial capex costs.

The design of the mobile pumphouse, he emphasises, sets a new standard for tailings management applications, providing the customer with the tools and equipment to rapidly reconfigure their pumping network, with the ability to move it to other sections of the tailings pond. 

Weir Minerals continually dedicates significant investment towards product improvement, aligning with an industry shift from fixed products to more mobile equipment options and solutions. 

The company’s solutions include Multiflo® pump barges and floating pontoons mounted with Warman® SHW submersible slurry pumps for extracting the fluid tailings. Its Warman® slurry pumps are ideal for boosting recovered tails from the pond, to drive the new tailings treatment process plant. 

Koorts emphasises that, with increased scrutiny and pressure to improve the management of tailings, it is more important than ever to look at different methods that are innovative and fit-for-purpose.

EXCITING YEAR AHEAD FOR WEIR MINERALS IN AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST

Weir Minerals Africa is focused on partnering with customers to drive efficiencies using its proven technology-driven solutions.  

According to Grant Ramsden, Regional Managing Director of Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East, the company’s successful evolution over a century and a half continues with a strong sustainability vision for the modern mining, minerals processing and the sand and aggregate industries.

“As our mining sector customers look to reduce their carbon footprint, we are engineering solutions for a future that prioritises energy efficiency and raises productivity,” says Ramsden, who stepped into his new role during the economic lockdown in 2020. “With leading brands all the way from ground-engaging tools to processing equipment across the mill circuit, we have an exciting year ahead with our continuously expanding equipment range.”

Among the solutions that will raise most interest, he says, are the company’s high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs), which are more energy efficient than traditional ball mills and utilise dry processing. With most of the global mining sector having readily embraced this technology, there is still plenty of scope for its adoption in Africa. 

“Another exciting area of opportunity for us remains our GEHO positive displacement pump range, where we continue to see substantial interest,” he says. “These pumps represent the latest advances in hydro-transport, and will also add to the efficiencies that we can bring to mining across Africa.”

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramsden says that Weir’s Synertrex® condition monitoring and smart analytics platform will also attract more attention in 2021. Developed by Weir Minerals to complement its portfolio of mining equipment, Synertrex® monitors product operation and feeds data automatically to the cloud and control systems. This also allows for remote monitoring where employees or management may not have regular physical access to plant operations.

“With our service-focused approach, we are able to become directly integrated into the customer’s operation, through having one of our own experts in the mine’s control room helping to monitor equipment and possibly even procuring the necessary spares,” he says. “Synertrex has already proved itself in South Africa’s minerals sands segment, and similar interest has been expressed from other commodity miners in our region. This system can also streamline procurement by alerting customers when new spares may be needed.”

Ramsden also emphasises the value in Weir Minerals’ wear resistant technology (WRT), which has demonstrated increases in the life of impellers and throat bushes of Warman® slurry pumps by up to 30%. These improvements significantly extend pump life and reduce total cost of ownership for our customers.

As an established original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in South Africa, Weir Minerals Africa is planning further investment in upgrades and process improvements at its Isando foundry. It will also be directing resources for a technology upgrade at its Isando rubber plant, one of two local facilities contributing to the company’s range of IP-protected rubber products.

“After a difficult 2020 for everyone, it will be exciting to be investing and expanding to assist our customers to meet their production targets,” he says. “We also look forward to continuing our investment in local skills, which includes supporting 22 graduates – 90% of whom are drawn into our business after qualifying from their university studies.”

Ramsden highlights the importance of the Weir Minerals’ Mill Circuit University in providing essential training to our staff – helping to keep the company and the broader mining industry operating at the highest levels of performance. 

“The technical experts in our business constantly leverage new technology, applying it to our products to the benefit of our customers,” he says. “The use of 3-D scanners, for instance, enhances the capability of our process engineers when they visit customer sites. This enables them to quickly generate the measurements they need to develop quality proposals for productivity solutions.”

He is also confident about the prospects for the Middle East, where comminution is the main focus of the company’s offerings – serving the considerable demand for infrastructure works in that region. Its local capacity has been further enhanced by the recent unveiling of a new world class service centre in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. 

“This aligns with our mission to be available wherever and whenever our customers need us,” he concludes. 

LARGE SCREENS FOR NIGERIA SHOW WEIR MINERALS’ DESIGN DEPTH

Two of the largest screens built by Weir Minerals Africa are being designed and manufactured in South Africa as part of a process solution for an iron ore mine in Nigeria. 

According to Tiisetso Masekwameng, general manager comminution at Weir Minerals Africa, the flowsheet accepted by the customer includes equipment for screening, washing, and grinding supplied by Weir Minerals. 

“Within our scope of work are the two largest Enduron double-deck banana screens built by Weir Minerals,” says Masekwameng. “This is made possible by the depth of design expertise in our Separation Technology Group, an eight-strong team conducting research and development.”

Steven Hunter, separation technology group leader at Weir Minerals Africa, says the two 51-tonne Enduron® double-deck banana (DBHG 43/97) screens for this project were built upon the designs of the Weir Minerals existing screens range. These large machines measure 4,3 metre wide and 9,7 metre long and can process 1,750 tonnes per hour.

“The customer’s production requirements demanded this considerable size, so we optimised the design by minimising mass without compromising structural integrity,” says Hunter. “We conducted extensive finite element analysis (FEA) on the whole machine but focused on the main structural elements, ensuring that the units were fit-for-purpose while still being light enough to be driven by the exciters.”

Nonetheless, the size of the units still demanded the design and manufacture of Weir Minerals Africa’s largest exciter yet – the Enduron® LTX 10. With 120 tonnes of excitation force (at maximum setting), these units will drive the screens at a stroke of 9,4 mm and a gravitational force of 4,6 G. Hunter highlights the close collaboration between the Research & Development and manufacturing teams that contributed to the successful development and testing of the Enduron® LTX 10 exciters.

“The screens are also ready to be fitted with our IIoT (Industrial Internet-of-Things) platform, Synertrex,” he says. “This allows the machines to be monitored remotely; the system can measure the machine’s performance any deviations arising that may require proactive attention.”

The order for Nigeria also includes two Trio® jaw crushers, two Trio® cone crushers, two large 2- metre by 8- metre Trio® apron feeders, two Trio® pan feeders, eight Enduron® vibrating screens and an Enduron® HPGR (high-pressure grinding roll). 

For the clay washing circuit, Weir Minerals Africa will supply the mine with a Trio® twin-shaft blade mill and Trio® twin-shaft coarse washers as well as Warman® slurry pumps.

TRIO® CONE CRUSHERS BOOST PLANT CAPACITY IN OMAN

When one of the largest crushing operations in Oman needed to raise its production by 30%, Weir Minerals knew that a Trio® TP350 cone crusher was the answer.

It was a demanding application, involving the crushing of hard, coarse-grained gabbro for use as construction aggregate. Gabbro has a high compressive strength of 220 to 230 MPa and an abrasion index of 0,45. The existing crusher was running at 270 to 280 tonnes per hour with a closed side setting of 38 mm.

“The operators wanted to increase the crushing plant’s capacity to over 300 tonnes per hour,” says Tiisetso Masekwameng, general manager comminution at Weir Minerals Africa. “This could not be achieved without overloading the existing crusher, leading to machine trip-outs and excessive wear.”

Running for 10 hours a day seven days a week, the operation needed to be efficient. It could not afford excessive downtime caused by unexpected stoppages or frequent maintenance. Masekwameng highlights that the rugged Trio® TP range is specially designed for heavy duty crushing, and the Trio® TP350 model was ideal for this application.

“After detailed discussions with the plant’s general manager to understand their needs, we recommended this model,” she says. “With its capacity of 340 to 370 tonnes per hour at the same closed side setting of 38 mm, we were sure it would deliver the right result.”

Not only did it achieve the required output, but it also reduced downtime by 50%. Installation was straightforward, requiring only an adaptor motor base to accommodate the larger, 250 kW electric motor. Noting the crusher’s ease of maintenance, the customer was also pleased with its consistent performance and reliability.

“Our Trio TP cone crushers feature a steep crushing chamber angle and a large crushing stroke,” says Masekwameng. “They operate at an optimum speed to deliver a high-quality product through increased inter-particle comminution.”

She adds that these crushers are also designed to allow for maximum mobility without sacrificing versatility or crushing force. The Trio® crusher range is compatible with Weir’s Synertrex® technology for remote monitoring. Synertrex® is an industry-internet-of-things (IIoT) platform that monitors mining equipment for peak reliability and performance.

WEIR MINERALS AFRICA IN SOUTH AFRICAN EMPOWERMENT DEAL

In an important empowerment transaction for leading minerals solution provider Weir Minerals Africa, the company’s South African operation, Weir Minerals South Africa (Pty) Ltd, is now 25.1% owned by black empowerment partner Medu Capital.

According to Weir Minerals Africa Regional Managing Director Gavin Dyer the deal is another step in an ongoing transformation journey. The transaction was finalised in Johannesburg in May 2020.

“We have, over the years, made significant progress in terms of our employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement and socio-economic development,” says Dyer. “We are therefore very pleased to conclude this transaction, which creates an organisational ownership structure that is more representative of the demographics of South Africa.”

The deal has been facilitated by the creation of Weir Minerals South Africa (Pty) Ltd, whose assets include sales branches across the country, an assembly facility in Alrode, Gauteng, and a distributor network.

“This initiative also further enhances our value proposition to customers in the mining industry as they work to support the imperatives of Mining Charter 3,” he says.

Part of the global Weir Group PLC, Weir Minerals Africa serves primarily the mining sector around Africa and the Middle East. It also manufactures world-class mineral processing equipment for export to international group destinations. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Weir’s engineering heritage dates back over 140 years.

“With its extensive local investment in skills, service capability and manufacturing capacity in South Africa, the Weir Group has always been supportive of our empowerment drive,” Dyer says. “This strengthens our position as a local technology leader serving global markets.”

Formed in 2003, Medu Capital is a 100% black-owned investment management company with a focus on private equity. Dyer highlights that Weir Minerals South Africa looks forward to Medu Capital becoming an active partner in guiding and fostering its future success.

Explaining the rationale behind Medu Capital taking up the shareholding in Weir Minerals South Africa, co-founder and director Ernest January says Weir Minerals has an outstanding reputation for high quality products.

“The company’s design, engineering and technical capabilities, combined with its high-quality standards and global reach, have led to impressive long-term customer relationships and a strong track record,” January says.

“We are proud to be associated with the Weir brand and support the company’s aim to achieve and maintain a competitive B-BBEE rating. We look forward to working with the management team to complement its value proposition to customers and are excited to participate in the company’s growth story.”

WEIR MINERALS AFRICA : SA EMPOWERMENT TRANSACTION

In an important empowerment transaction for leading minerals solution provider Weir Minerals Africa, the company’s South African operation, Weir Minerals South Africa, is now 25.1%-owned by black empowerment partner Medu Capital.

Finalised in Johannesburg in May 2020, the deal is another step in Weir Minerals Africa’s ongoing transformation journey.

The company has over the years made significant progress in terms of employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement and socio-economic development.

The conclusion of this transaction creates an organisational ownership structure that is more representative of the demographics of South Africa.

The deal has been facilitated by the creation of Weir Minerals South Africa (Pty) Ltd, whose assets include sales branches across the country, an assembly facility in Alrode, Gauteng, and a distributor network.

The initiative also further enhances the value proposition to customers in the mining industry as they work to support the imperatives of Mining Charter 3.

Part of the global Weir Group PLC, Weir Minerals Africa serves primarily the mining sector around Africa and the Middle East.

It also manufactures world-class mineral processing equipment for export to international group destinations.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Weir’s engineering heritage dates back over 140 years.

With its extensive local investment in skills, service capability and manufacturing capacity in South Africa, the Weir Group has always been supportive of local empowerment.

This transaction strengthens the company’s position as a local technology leader serving global markets.

Formed in 2003, Medu Capital is a 100% black-owned investment management company with a focus on private equity, and Weir Minerals Africa looks forward to Medu Capital becoming an active partner in guiding and fostering the future success of Weir Minerals South Africa.

HOLISTIC BUSINESS JOURNEY GOES BEYOND LOCKDOWN – WEIR

South Africa’s recent lockdown is just the beginning of an uncertain journey into the future, but the principles of every responsible business should remain unchanged.

This is Weir Minerals Africa’s key takeout from the rapid changes and innovations it has put in place in recent weeks, according to regional managing director Gavin Dyer.

“We took a proactive approach to reposition our business for the lockdown period,” says Dyer. “This ensured that employees were safe, and that we stayed in close contact with staff and customers – making communication a central focus.”

Under the potentially stressful lockdown conditions, the company’s long-established Employee Wellness Programme has been further adapted for remote use. Its counselling hotline has been particularly well used, helping employees as they deal with a range of issues from childcare to financial management.

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the company put in place various hygiene measures and standard operating protocols at its offices and manufacturing facilities, and was able to equip about 40% of staff to work remotely. It has leveraged the power of digital communication platforms to both provide information to stakeholders and to gather their input and ideas. Live webinars and online video conferences have ensured that there is constant contact with employees and customers.

“Not only have we managed a high level of business continuity for our customers, but we have also encouraged our employees to consider how we can contribute to broader society,” he says. “Our holistic business approach is based on our responsibility to a wide range of stakeholders. This continues to apply even – perhaps especially – under the current coronavirus conditions.”

Discussions within the business have raised ideas about how Weir Minerals Africa can make the country’s workplaces, homes and public spaces safer in the world where virus infection is now a constant threat.

“We will apply our engineering and design expertise to the best ideas, and hope to encourage some useful innovations,” he says.

The company is also supporting South Africa’s Solidarity Fund with a corporate donation of R1 million. Dyer says another step has been to challenge other members of his executive team to follow his example of making a personal donation to the fund.

Looking ahead, he says Weir Minerals Africa will be making more use of online communications channels in its various interactions with customers, helping to ensure close compliance to coronavirus-related regulations. The knowledge-sharing webinars offered to customers during the lockdown period showed the potential for value-added services that the business can offer to customers, in the safety of their own office space.

IMPROVED LOCAL DESIGN OF ENDURON VIBRATING SCREENS BY WEIR MINERALS

With its extensive range of Enduron® vibrating screens proven over the past 40 years, Weir Minerals Africa is now locally designing and manufacturing new-generation linear motion vibrating screens.

According to Christian Stehle, head of engineering at Weir Minerals Africa, this design capability provides the flexibility to produce vibrating screens to suit each customer’s plant layout. At the same time, the designs will optimise cost, efficiency and performance. South Africa also hosts Weir Minerals’ global screening and separation technology group.

“This expertise ensures that our robust Enduron vibrating screens provide exceptional classification and dewatering screening performance,” says Stehle. The screens are deployed in a wide range of minerals processing applications. He notes that vibrating equipment is generally more challenging to design than static equipment due to the high-frequency cyclic loading to which the machines are subjected.

“The final design must address key criteria like screening efficiency, throughput and loading, while still operating within the acceptable fatigue life limits of the materials of construction,” he says.

Stehle highlights that the use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tools allow engineers to optimise screen life by obtaining the stress and deflection levels in the equipment and applying the appropriate structural design and utilisation of materials in the areas experiencing high stresses.

“Traditionally, screen designs used to be heavier in an effort to extend the life of the equipment,” he says. “Using FEA tools during the design stage allows us to retain structural integrity while actually reducing the overall weight of the machine.”

While there are areas of high stress on the equipment that need more strength, technology tools indicate where lower stresses occur. In these areas, less steel can be used to make the structure lighter. Leveraging this technology, the weight of some new-generation screens has been cut by up to 15%.

One of the new, modern screen designs is part of a recent Weir Minerals Africa complete comminution plant contract for a South African mining project. The scope includes two crushing stations, a screening station and all the related feed chutes, bins and conveyors.

Stehle notes that Weir’s Synertrex™ IoT platform can also be applied to monitor and improve the performance of its vibrating screens. Synertrex™ technology is an industrial internet of things (IIOT) system that allows operators to monitor every aspect of their equipment’s operation, to prevent problems and increase throughput.