Pumping slurry to tailings facilities requires a solution that can move as the dam grows, making Weir Minerals Africa’s mobile pumphouse ideal for the purpose.

A Weir pumphouse at a customer site in Canada. Photo by Weir

A Weir pumphouse at a customer site in Canada. Photo by Weir

“A mobile pumphouse completely avoids the cost of any civil engineering for permanent on-site pump buildings,” says Weir Minerals Africa Pumps Product Manager Marnus Koorts. “Instead, it is designed to be moved as required across the site, using its own specifically engineered, skid and jack-and-roll elements.”

Koorts says the offering is part of Weir Minerals Africa’s engineered-to-order (ETO) solutions, which also reduces the long-term total cost of ownership. The three-point Warman Multiflo pump mounting system allows the base and skid to act independently. This minimises the risk of misalignment between the pump and motor shaft during operation and relocation. The unit incorporates an integral gland water supply system and a separate electronic house (E-house) for power control and remote communication.

Koorts highlights that as a mine’s process plant matures the tailings line grows with new tailings dams being created, often using Linatex hoses and Isogate valves. It is a significant advantage to be able to move the pumphouse, and to add pumps to the tailings line if the increased distance requires more pressure. It is also an important contributor to reducing initial capex costs.

The design of the mobile pumphouse, he emphasises, sets a new standard for tailings management applications, providing the customer with the tools and equipment to rapidly reconfigure their pumping network, with the ability to move it to other sections of the tailings pond.

Weir Minerals continually dedicates significant investment towards product improvement, aligning with an industry shift from fixed products to more mobile equipment options and solutions.

The company’s solutions include Multiflo pump barges and floating pontoons mounted with Warman SHW submersible slurry pumps for extracting the fluid tailings. Its Warman® slurry pumps are ideal for boosting recovered tails from the pond, to drive the new tailings treatment process plant.

Koorts emphasises that, with increased scrutiny and pressure to improve the management of tailings, it is more important than ever to look at different methods that are innovative and fit-for-purpose.