Choosing The Best Slurry Pump For Hard Rock Mining Applications


Whether you're mining for iron ore, gold deposits, or copper veins, any hard rock mining operation has significant running costs, and slurry handling operations can be particularly costly if they are not fully optimized. If the slurry pump(s) you use to transport ore, tailings, or other slurried substances to the surface is inefficient, poorly chosen, or poorly installed, it is much more likely to malfunction or fail entirely and may use significantly more power than expected while functioning.

If you are looking for a new slurry pump for hard rock mining applications, sourcing the right slurry pump model from a reputable industrial pump supplier is crucial. Keep the following guidelines in mind while you compare pumps to ensure the slurry pump(s) you choose are fit for purpose.

Size your pump carefully

For optimal efficiency, a slurry pump must be able to run continuously for long periods, often at very low rates of revolution; in some cases, less than 1000 RPM. If a pump runs at faster rates, abrasive mining slurries will pass through the pump far too quickly, massively increasing friction and causing catastrophic wear to internal components and pipeline surfaces.

To achieve appropriate pressure levels while running at such low RPM, the slurry pump you choose must be suitably powerful. Pay close attention to the power and capacity specifications of any and all slurry pumps you look at, and ensure that they can maintain the appropriate flow rates at low RPM. Avoid choosing pumps that are overly powerful, as they will use unnecessary energy and may be more difficult to control at low revs.

Choose stainless steel for acidic slurries

The slurries produced by many hard rock mines contain highly acidic compounds, which can lower the overall pH of the slurry. Tailing slurries are particularly prone to low pH levels. Many slurry pumps and pipelines are made predominantly of steel, which is vulnerable to corrosion and rust caused by acidic slurry mixes.

If you need a pump that can deal with highly acidic slurries while avoiding excessive corrosion, choose a specialized stainless steel pump. The steel used to create these pumps contains a small amount of chromium, which gives it exceptional resistance to corrosion even when used with highly acidic slurries. Though they are considerably more expensive than standard steel pumps, they will require much less maintenance and fewer repairs when used long-term.

Choose trailer-mounted pumps for mobility

In many smaller hard rock mines, static slurry pumps and pipelines are not strictly necessary; this is especially true if mine shafts are relatively shallow or the mine is reasonably close to nearby processing and/or shipping facilities. For many of these smaller mines, a portable slurry pump can be very useful.

Trailer mounted slurry pumps can be quickly and easily towed to where they are needed by any truck or light mining vehicle, while still providing sufficient pressure and flow rates to effectively transport slurry out of a mine. They tend to be significantly cheaper than more powerful, static slurry pumps and are ideal for mines with seasonal schedules or relatively low production rates.

For more information, contact an industrial pump supplier today.


21 April 2020

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