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Rubber linings cut downtime on mine operations

TWO African mines are achieving increased production time and plant availability after converting to Weir Minerals’ Linatex® and Linard® rubber lining solutions.

A mineral sands operation in Mozambique approached Weir Minerals just over two years ago, after experiencing high wear on its pipe and launders. This was leading to frequent maintenance, leaks and downtime. The Weir Minerals team observed that part of the challenge was worn out and corroded metal work on the mine’s wet concentrator plants due to the proximity to the coast. Access to reline the existing launders was difficult and posed safety risks necessitating a more effective solution.

The solution was to replace the competitors’ products –chemically cured rubber – with Linatex® premium rubber and Linard® 60 rubber. This was done during the mine’s monthly shutdowns. Whereas the competitors’ rubber lasted only two to three months, the Linatex® and Linard® linings are still in operation after 25 months.

The Linard® 60 rubber lining solution was also applied at a gold mine in South Africa’s North West province. The mine’s maintenance team had been replacing the rubber lining on mill feed hoppers and spouts every 10 days. The mechanical foreman was looking for a more resilient solution.

The foreman was not familiar with Linatex® rubber products, so a trial using Linard® 60 rubber was arranged. The entire feed hopper and spout were lined with this silica-reinforced natural rubber.

The results were convincing, with the wear life increasing to 12 weeks, with only the partially worn areas requiring relining, there was a reduction in relining costs. This has increased plant availability, resulting in fewer stoppages and reduced operating costs.

Linatex® premium rubber is a proprietary vulcanised natural rubber, produced through a unique process that uses high quality natural latex. It has outstanding strength, resilience and resistance to cutting and tearing – with high performance in wet, abrasive conditions.

Linard® 60 rubber, which is silica reinforced, retains the natural strength and nerve of latex, while combining with the toughness needed for handling coarse materials.

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