Pump assets and maximising Mean Time Between repairs (MTBR)

In this blog we look at our work in kaolin mining industry to maximise energy efficiency and MTBR of the current pump asset base.

In the kaolin mining industry one of the over-riding priorities for mining companies is to maximise energy efficiency and MTBR of the current pump asset base.

This is simply because kaolin production is in decline, having declined to about half in 2008 from its peak in 1988 (at 3.3mT/yr). Production has continued to decline further since.

We’ve shown that remedial works to pumps can be translated into significant improvements

However, the UK remains one of the largest producers of kaolin in the world.

Working alongside pump refurbishment specialists, GT Jones, we have been carrying out accurate pump efficiency testing at a specific UK site.

Using a wet process for china clay mining

The mines involved in our tests predominantly use a wet process for extraction.

Water is jetted at high pressure onto blasted or disaggregated rock using ‘monitors’ to extract clay in suspension as a slurry. This gravitates to the bottom of the pit from where it is pumped to the top for processing. The water and the mineral are separated and the water is clarified by successive processes and returned to the pressure pumps that feed the monitors in the quarry.

It is an extremely challenging water pumping process.

Pump efficiency testing

We were tasked with completing pre- and post-refurbishment pump efficiency tests to assess the success of refurbishment work.

At one of the client’s most significant sites, we measure performance periodically with our patented FREEFLOW portable pump testing system. The work involves testing the quarry’s four pressure pumps (duty: 120m @ 818m3/hr; 355kW). We have shown that remedial works performed to worn pumps can be directly translated into significant improvements in pump performance.

Click the following link to obtain our kaolin mining case study in full: Testing pressure pumps for a UK mining company

Further information

Explore our pump testing services

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