Pumping success in saltwater application

slurrysucker in saltwater application

A recent two-week trial on a mine on South Africa’s west coast has again proved the value of Integrated Pump Rental’s SlurrySucker dredging unit – even in saltwater and high-volume conditions.

The mine was facing a real challenge with its main process water pond; it would fill with sediment within a week, and the sea water which filled it is highly corrosive. The mine was also looking for a safer and more cost effective option than the divers, equipped with manually operated suction pipes, it was employing.

“This large pond – about 70 metres square and eight metres deep – is central to the mine operation as it feeds all the process plants,” says Ruaan Venter, rental development manager at Integrated Pump Rental. “It is therefore vital that sediment is removed continuously, quickly and in large quantities.”

During the trial, the SlurrySucker was able to pump 250 m3/h of sediment with a solids content of 30 to 40%. This allowed the specialised dredging equipment to remove 60 to 70 tons of sediment from the pond every hour.

“When in contact with conventional metal pump components saltwater is extremely corrosive, and over time can cause a lot of damage to the equipment leading to the frequent replacement of wear plates and impellers. In addition, the integrity of the framework will also be compromised,” says Venter. “Under these conditions and to mitigate corrosion, we provide our customers with a full stainless steel pump solution with rubber-lined pipes to transport material from the pond.”

The success of the trial has raised the interest of other mining operations along this coastline, where sea water is also used in the process plants.