GEHO positive displacement pumps from Weir Minerals are being used by SIMEC mining in Whyalla, South Australia to pump slurry along 67 km of pipeline.
SIMEC mining produces iron ore concentrate for the Whyalla steelworks. The high pressure GEHO PD pumps ensure the material stays suspended in the pipeline throughout the journey to Whyalla, where it is dewatered and converted to pellets for the steel making process.
The GEHO pumps transport the slurry about 250 cubes an hour, 300 tons an hour, all day, every day and have defined maintenance intervals to avoid the risk of breakdown. Peter Thissen, global product manager for GEHO pumps at Weir Minerals, said: “The biggest challenge of long distance pumping is generating slurry with a suitable particle size distribution for the application.”
Designing a long distance pipeline is a complex balancing act between the rate of flow, the concentration of slurry and the size of particles. For solids in slurry to remain in suspension, they need to be moved by the liquid at a particular minimum velocity. The GEHO pumps are designed to handle high-density slurry with solids up to 85%.
Weir Minerals have recently released a video, showing its operation at Whyalla.