Water solutions company to expand mining range

Posted on Sep 13, 2015

Water technology provider Xylem is adding high-pressure boosting pumps to its mining industry range.

The pumps are designed for high-head boosting applications in water and grey water and can be used in process circuit cooling and other high-pressure applications, says Xylem Americas industry and agriculture business unit director Nate Maguire.

He adds that the boosting pumps can deliver flows of more than 18 288 m3/h and pressures of more than 1 400 psi. The pumps’ hydraulic efficiency will also reduce energy costs for mining companies. “They are best-in-class, highly robust pump designs that help reduce unplanned downtime for mine operators.”

Maguire says the company expects to announce a launch date for the high-pressure boosting pumps line later this year.

Mining Industry Overview

Xylem believes that the current instability in the mining sector is not insurmountable.

While many suppliers are deferring their strategic investments in this market, Xylem has not altered its strategy and focus.

Maguire explains that Xylem has a “long-term view and expects to see continued success in the global mining market”, and that the mining market is experiencing a cyclical downturn right now.

Although he expects markets to improve, he is also noticing that mining companies are investing in the retrofit and repair of existing equipment, while deferring the buying of new equipment, owing to economic constraints.

Regarding product development, Maguire believes that the global mining industry wants environment-friendly, quality products at competitive prices.

He notes that, typically, the significant cost of unplanned downtime intended for system maintenance or repair is generally a larger issue than the pumping system itself.

“Product quality is critical, as is product selection, which entails configuring the right product for the job,” Maguire says, adding that mining customers have the desire and obligation to reduce their environmental impact.

Higher efficiency pumping systems help reduce energy costs and environmental impact. Xylem is working on creating alternative energy pumping systems, though no such system is currently available for the mining market, Maguire notes.

Meanwhile, the company also offers a variety of monitoring and control systems, and has made significant advances in its variable- speed drive offering, including improvements in software and user interface, which make the units faster and easier to operate.

Xylem offers solutions for openpit mines, underground mines and material processing, including submersible slurry pumps, grinding mills and environmental monitors. The company supports customers throughout mining exploration, development and operation.

Xylem offers its range of products and applications expertise in mining under a variety of internationally renowned brands, including A-C Fire Pump, Goulds Water Technology, Lowara, Flygt and Godwin.

Notable Projects
Xylem pumps were selected to assist in protecting the ancient Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt, from water deterioration.

The project plan outlined a solution for lowering and controlling the water table beneath the Pyramid Plateau to prevent limestone erosion to preserve the 4 500-year-old structures.

The Egyptian Antiquities Authority, project designer AECOM and Xylem determined that the best solution would be to drill 18 water wells and install high- capacity stainless steel submersible turbine pumps to control water levels in the aquifer below.

The Goulds Water Technology brand of turbine pumps, motors and accessories were selected, largely because of their energy efficiency. The pumps remove groundwater when it rises too high and threatens the limestone structures.

Xylem was also contracted by the Authority of the Panama Canal in June to provide 15 heavy-duty Godwin dewatering pumps to fill the third set of basin locks, in the Panama sector, to double the canal’s capacity.

The diesel pumps are to fill the basin with 6.4-billion litres of water, pumping an estimated 482-million litres a day. The expansion project is to be completed in the second quarter of 2016.

Supporting Smallholder Farmers
Xylem’s Essence of Life programme partners with nongovernmental organisations and other citizen-sector organisations focused on fighting poverty and supporting rural development in developing countries.

The company developed the Saajhi Stepping Pump in early 2013, a manual treadle pump that was engineered and developed for small-scale farms as an essential water pumping solution.

The pump uses human weight and motion to move water. It aids smallholder farmers in cultivating crops for sale rather than subsistence, improving their economic standing in their communities and supporting sustainable rural expertise.

The Saajhi has increased production for rural farmers in countries such as Malawi and India, tripling crop yield.

Xylem has a long-term view and expects to see continued success in the global mining market – Nate MaGuire

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