Critical to mining operations, are effective cleaning systems. According to Werner Pumps, a leading manufacturer of high-pressure jetting equipment and industrial vacuum solutions in South Africa, having the right equipment is invaluable for keeping sites functioning well and aligned with regulatory requirements.  

Some of the most useful options for cleaning functions on site are high-pressure washers, vacuuming systems and combination jetting and suction units.

Sebastian Werner, company MD, says that it is important to meet cleaning and maintenance needs with the right equipment for the job. “Mines will require equipment best suited to their specific applications, whether it’s jetting or vacuuming, wet or dry material, and so on,” he adds.

Vacuuming solutions

Many of the by-products from mining processes need to be carefully managed. Vacuum cleaning equipment can help maintain systems on a mine and assist with the cleaning up of spills, industrial sumps and slurries, dry materials and industrial wastes.

In tailing dams, for example, waste products from mining – whether they are liquid, solid or a slurry – need to be kept from contaminating water sources or polluting the environment and have to be monitored and maintained.

“When the slurry of mining waste is piped into the dam, the solids settle to the bottom and the water is recycled to be used in the separation process again,” explains Werner. “But if the drainage system in that dam gets blocked, it can pose major safety risks.” Werner Pumps’ large vacuum trucks can be used for vacuuming industrial sumps and slurries and can help unclog pipes so that the dams’ draining systems can flow freely. High-pressure jetting equipment can also be used for jet-rodding, where the walls of the dam’s drainage system are scoured. This can also help in identifying damaged pipes.

It is important to meet cleaning and maintenance needs with the right equipment for the job. Supplied by Werner Pumps

It is important to meet cleaning and maintenance needs with the right equipment for the job. Supplied by Werner Pumps

High-pressure cleaning

Depending on the application, different pressure capacities are also important. Werner Pumps supplies smaller trailer-mounted high-pressure and ultra high-pressure jetting units, as well as larger truck-mounted units for industrial-scale applications.

“We initially designed the trailer units for domestic applications and smaller sewerage clearing operators and municipalities who were looking for a more cost-effective option than investing in a truck unit, but we have found that because they are so easy to transport, they are much lighter and they can get into tight spaces, they are ideal for other niche applications,” says Werner. “We have a customer who uses one of our trailers not only for tailings dam maintenance on the mines, but also for clearing out piping in the boreholes they drill too. The trailer-mounted unit continues to be one of our most versatile offerings.”

These small jetting units can get to places where accessibility is a challenge on site at a mine, such as boiler tubes that need to be cleaned, which can solve a number of headaches for maintenance teams.

The units are high-quality, 100% locally manufactured, and customisable for every customer’s specific requirement. They range from 8ℓ/minute to 500ℓ/minute, with pressures from 50 Bar to 2800 Bar and power from 2.5kW to 500kW, while the ultra-high-pressure units (such as those used in the tailings cleaning applications) offer 1 000 Bar and are also suitable for applications such as rubber and scale removal. The company not only supplies cleaning pumps for these applications, but also offers a range of process pumps for highly unstable and explosive products too.

Combination jetting and suction units

For unblocking and cleaning sewer lines, stormwater drains and sewer pump stations, combination jetting and suction units are an effective solution.

Rather than operators having to use multiple vehicles for sucking and jetting, this piece of equipment’s ability to perform suction and jetting can save on costs, time and labour when it comes to sewerage cleaning operations.

“Our Impi Combi Truck is a premium-quality, locally-manufactured truck-mounted unit with a tilting 12 500ℓ, 304 stainless steel tank, a hydraulically-driven high-pressure pump capacity of 295ℓ/min at 150 Bar, and a vacuum pump with 1 700m3/hr suction capability,” Werner explains.

Werner Pumps also supplies a comprehensive range of accessories for its units, including low-water inlet switches, high-pressure jetting hoses (20m, 30m or 50m), high-pressure guns with lances, nozzle holders and fan nozzles.