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De-watering Solutions for Underground Platinum Mine

Founded in 1909, this listed mine group is one of the largest producers of platinum, with its underground operations located in the North West province of South Africa.

Underground mining is exceptionally dusty, exposing equipment to some of the harshest conditions. To combat this, mines will often revert to water as a dust controller or cooling agent. In many cases, once the water has served its purpose, the water is pumped away from the mine site. During the underground mining operations, the process of de-watering is applied to remove any accumulated water. De-watering is of crucial importance – especially in underground mining – where the potential for flooding could be life-threatening.

The de-watering process can be a costly job, as mine water contains grit and solids, which often lead to premature maintenance issues of existing pumps. Unplanned downtime becomes a common concern, as the replacement parts are manufactured thousands of kilometers away from the mining site, leading to delays and an overall disruption of operations. Ideally, the mine required a pump which was easy to dismantle and reassemble, should maintenance be necessary.

With this in mind, Mooka Mining and Industrial Services, the distributor of FloSolve’s range of solutions in Rustenburg, proudly installed four 2-inch Graco Husky 2150 Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pumps, in the mine’s underground operation to aid in the efficient de-watering of mine water, while cutting down on maintenance costs and noise pollution. The Graco Husky Pump was selected due to its ability to handle a wide range of solids found in below-ground water, thanks to its shock-absorbing polyurethane screen base, which is perfect for absorbing the impact from these solid particles.

Since underground mining operations are faced with numerous hazardous conditions, where the tiniest spark may be explosive, electricity is either forbidden or simply not available. To remove the need for electricity, the Graco Husky Pump is powered by compressed air, in addition to being completely submersible – making it the ideal counterpart in high-risk zones.

The pump does not consume air. The air is used to charge the center.

Project Details

DATE

June 2019

CLIENT

Platinum Mine – Underground Operation

PROJECT TYPE

Graco Husky 2150 Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pumps

An Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pump is a type of positive displacement pump that uses compressed air as a power source. The compressed air is shifted from one chamber to the other by a linked shaft that allows the chambers to move simultaneously. This back-and-forth motion, forces liquid out of one chamber and into the outlet manifold, while filling the opposite fluid chamber via the inlet manifold. Upon changeover, the fluid section that was filled on the previous shift empties into the outlet manifold and fills the opposite chamber via the inlet manifold. The rapid changeover allows for reduced pulsation at the outlet.

Thanks to the high reliability of the Graco Husky Pump, unplanned downtime due to a failed pump will be unlikely. The increased reliability comes from having fewer moving parts and a limited number of components that can wear out. The main working parts
are the valves (balls), valve seats and diaphragms. The internal suction ball valves
rotate during operation, and is pushed away off its seat, allowing the fluid to flow past
the valve, into the chamber.

Thirteen months post the installation of the Graco Husky Pumps, one pump was
brought above-surface for repairs due to a large stone obstructing one of the ball
valves (see right). The Graco Husky Pump suffered no serious damages –
an impressive performance in an extremely harsh underground mine.

Graco Husky 2150 Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pumps offer peace of mind:

  • Should maintenance be necessary, an Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pump is easy to dismantle and put back together.

  • The exceptionally engineered Graco Husky Pump contains self-priming properties designed to prevent damage to the pump, should it run dry.

  • Major applications include raw material transfer, bulk liquid-chemical transfer, onsite bulk-fuel transfer, oil-separation processes, transfer and treatment of mine tailings, above and below-ground de-watering, froth flotation, water re-circulation, wash bays for large-scale machinery and vehicles vehicles, and water/land reclamation.

Benefits of the Husky 2150 Double Diaphragm Pumps:

  • Overall improved efficiency (up to 40% more efficient)

  • Highest fluid flow rate in its class

  • Up to 5 times longer diaphragm life compared to other air operated diaphragm pumps

  • Expanded material offering to handle endless applications

  • Epoxy-coated air section for tough environmental conditions

  • Available in aluminium, stainless steel, ductile iron, and polypropylene

Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pumps can be found in various applications within the mining industry. Their attractive total cost of ownership is one of their key advantages.

For more information or a quotation on Graco Husky Pump solutions, speak to one of our experts on +27 (0)11 389 5300 or sales@flosolve.co.za  |   Gert Schoeman at Mooka Mining and Industrial Services on +27 (0)14 007 0639 or gert.schoeman@mooka-mis.co.za

The Underground Platinum Mine used
Graco Husky 2150 Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pumps:

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