Pumps are often the unsung heroes at a mine site. They provide essential services that keep the mine running, and only draw attention when something breaks down. You need your mining pumps working efficiently and dependably to keep your operation productive and profitable.
Some of the common applications for pumps at mining operations include:
• Source and process water
• Vehicle and equipment washing
• Slurry and tailings removal
• Dust suppression
Diesel Pumps vs. Electric Pumps
Most of the mining industry relies on diesel-driven pumps. They are relatively easy to move from site to site. Plus, most of the heavy mining equipment is being run on diesel fuel, so the pump system is just one more piece of equipment that is diesel powered. However, the advances of portable electric-driven pumps have also made them more popular among miners, especially at sites with ample generator power. These can be much more efficient than diesel-driven pumps, depending on the application and operation.
The top priority any mining operation needs to focus on is selecting the right type of pump for the specific application. If you try to force a pump to do a job it really isn’t designed to do, you are destined for failure. It may work well enough for a time, but eventually you’ll have mechanical problems that will cost the operation downtime.
Not only will you want to consider diesel-driven pump options against electric-driven pumps, you will look at a variety of other factors:
• Process capacity
• Pressure range
• Temperature range
• Pump design
• Compliance with applicable regulations, including EPA
The Right Pump for the Specific Application
Obviously, there are many different types of pumps on the market. Some are best for slurries and solids-bearing materials. Others are better for chemicals, oils, gases and corrosive liquids. Water sourcing and wastewater removal applications will benefit from different styles of pumps. The point is that you need to do your research and configure a pump system that will provide your mining operation with the desired performance, durability and energy efficiency.
Next comes preventative maintenance and repairs. Most mine pumps are pushed very hard, often in extreme environments. If you don’t take care of your equipment, it will eventually fail when you need it most. Preventative maintenance in the field is vital. It will include proper lubrication, replacing worn bearings and gaskets, checking seals and monitoring performance indicators like temperature, pressure and flow rates. If something does break or clearly isn’t working well, fix it before it causes even more significant damage. Don’t blow the entire motor because you are too careless to change out a faulty bearing!
For help with choosing the right pump for your mining application and setting up the ideal installation, maintenance and repair plan to keep it running its best for a long time, contact DXP Pacific today. We’re here to help with all your pumping system needs.