Sales & Support: +27 12 548 7204

6 April 2023

How to Improve Pump Efficiency in Mines & Save Energy

The global demand for energy is a never-ending saga. Companies and mines are hard at work implementing new technologies. The idea is to produce more power with improved motor-driven pumps. The result is higher output without burning more fossil fuels. Everyone is looking for ways to run operations on clean energy. The mining sector is one of these.

With increased power outages and increases in the price of electricity, it is time to reassess profit margins and machine efficiency. Now is the time to make a quick turnaround in long-term cost savings in the dewatering and fluid pumping arenas.

How Raw Energy Costs Have Affected the Mining Industry

Raw energy costs have increased exponentially in recent times. The power utility has put huge sustainability burdens on energy dependent industries. The mining sector is one of these. It is important to choose pumps with long- and short- term operating costs in mind.

Over 85% of life-time costs of pumps come from energy bills. Selecting the most efficient design to match the workload is imperative.

Slurry pumps represent about 5% of all centrifugal pumps in mining. Although this is a small percentage, it can tally up to 80% of overall mining operating costs. Mines are enjoying bigger cash flow benefits from current improved production rates.

The focus is often on optimising the extraction of ore and grinding. It is vital to choose the correct size slurry pump to match the operation.The result? Efficiency in operations.

Why Do We Refer to Slurry Pumps as the Heartbeat of a Plant?

We often refer to slurry pumps as the heartbeat of a plant. The reason is slurry pumps handle the smooth flow of entire processes. Slurry pumps are important in mineral processing, efficiency, and productivity. They play a key role in all mining operations involving liquids in any shape, size, or form.

Inefficient slurry operations could bring the minerals processing plant to a standstill. Here, we refer to inefficiencies in processes like grinding and separation. It will impact negatively on the dewatering and tailings handling. The slightest changes in handling slurry pumps can have a major impact on profitability.

Why are Slurry Pumps so Important to Mining Operations?

We use slurry pumps to transfer materials across the entire concentrator plant. Should a slurry pump fail, the ore refining process will also fail. Slurry pumps are an essential component of many mining operations, involving the extraction of minerals from ore.

Operators use slurry pumps for the transportation of slurry. Slurry is a mix of solid particles and liquid. Pumps transport the slurry from one locale to another within a mine setting. They designed these robust pumps specifically for the handling of corrosive and abrasive materials. Slurry pumps are ideal for operating at high pressure and high flow rates.

Failure of a slurry pump will cause the failure of movement of crushed material from the start of the process.

Common reasons for slurry pump breakdown include misapplication of the product and incorrect pump sizing. Or it could experience a breakdown depending on the selection of construction materials.

Regular maintenance and the successful implementation of slurry pumps play a key role. Designs requiring low maintenance are an obvious choice. These will increase the lifespan of a slurry pump.

4 Ways Slurry Pumps Can Make Mining Operations More Efficient

Slurry pumps play an important role in making mining operations more productive. The most obvious of these include energy efficient strategies. Slurry pumps are cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Slurry pumps enable transportation of slurry over long distances. Usually through challenging terrain.

  1.  Slurry Pumps move large volumes of material. This increases the overall efficiency of mining and improves productivity.
  2. When using slurry pumps, the amount of water used reduces. The result is water conservation and therefore cost savings. Some slurry pumps can operate with minimal water usage.
  3. Slurry pumps ensure a reduced carbon footprint by minimising the waste products produced.
  4. Manufacturers have designed slurry pumps with safety features. These reduce the risk of spills and leaks, helping protect the environment. They also prevent contamination of nearby waterways.

What Is the Most Important Thing to Look for?

The demand for slurry pumps is increasing globally. With an increase in demand for coal, phosphate and copper iron-ore, this should come as no surprise.
The #1 feature to look for is finding a robust pump capable of handling abrasive materials. Technologically advanced and resistant pumps will increase performance.

Why Mining Pumps Need to Be Bigger & Better in Today’s World

The world of mining has changed over decades. In our modern, advanced world of mining and technology, mines have become bigger. Mills and crushers have improved. One reason for growth is the need for processing more materials for better results.

The increase in size and power of pumps in the modern mining sector is a sign of the times. It reflects a growing demand for more efficient mining operations. It also reflects advancements in pump technology. Pumps perform a vital part in today’s modern mining sector.

They have grown exponentially for various reasons:

1. Mining depths have increased. As mining moves into greater depths, the distance between surface and mining face has increased. Operators need bigger and more powerful machines and pumps. This is to overcome increased pressure and move water and slurry with ease from the mine to the surface.

2. With more advanced pumps, the mining sector’s production rates have improved. Miners are extracting more ore at faster rates. The increase in the production rate requires more slurry and water movement requiring bigger, more powerful pumps.

3. We have seen a significant improvement in the design of pumps over the years. Pumps are now handling larger volumes with the advancement of technology. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) combined with finite element analysis (FEA) enables manufacturers to optimise performance. The need for large, robust pumps is apparent.

4. Mining often takes place in remote locations. A couple of good examples are African countries where water access is limited. Mines require powerful pumps in these applications.

Find out more about mining pumps from our team of professionals today. Increase the profitability and pump efficiency with the right application.
Contact us to find out how to make your operation more energy efficient while reducing your carbon footprint. We show you how to save money in the long-term by selecting a robust, efficient pumping system.

Do you still have questions? Give our AQS Liquid Transfer team a call on +27 12 548 7204 or fill out our enquiry form, our friendly team will get back to you with first-hand expertise on how to select a borehole pump for your needs.

Contact Us Today

Go to Top