5 Ways We Simplified Oil Sands Tailings Reclamation
When a client comes to us at GIW with a unique request, we’re always eager to custom-engineer a solution. Sometimes, these newly developed pumps and pump parts go beyond simply improving customers’ systems and provide us with opportunities to improve overall industry standards and expectations.
That’s the case with our latest barge pumping solution for a Canadian Oil Sands customer. To overcome many of the issues associated with recycling tailings and draining tailings ponds, we worked with the customer and Hagler Systems to outfit a barge with a robust, vertically oriented GIW LSV-44 slurry pump.
Building a better barge
GIW Oil Sands Business Development Manager Mollie Timmerman shares five things that make this barge an impressive addition to the Oil Sands tailings reclamation efforts:
- Makes a smaller footprint — “What’s unique about the pump is that it’s a traditional heavy-duty pump design that we’ve turned 90 degrees to be in a vertical orientation,” Timmerman says. “That means the size of the barge can be smaller because you can have more equipment vertically instead of in a horizontal layout.”
- Eliminates the need for gland water — “The pumping portion is already partially submerged in water, so it takes care of any suction-lift concerns and eliminates the need for gland water,” Timmerman explains. “Because water is such a precious commodity in mining operations, this offers big savings to clients.”
- Improves reliability — It’s a robust slurry pump, so it’s going to have improved reliability, meaning it’ll need maintenance far less frequently. “We expect it’ll be one to two years before the user needs any new parts or servicing for this,” Timmerman adds.
- Simplifies maintenance — For servicing dredges on ponds, access to provisions like walkways, cables, a boat, and a crew is necessary. “To simplify the maintenance process and cut costs, this barge can be pulled into shore for maintenance and servicing,” Timmerman says.
- Relies on interchangeable parts — Even though the wear life on GIW pumps is exceptional, GIW engineers designed this specific pump using existing wet-end parts where possible for commonality. Timmerman says, “The LSV-44 utilizes parts that are also operating in land-based high-powered booster pumps in the Oil Sands, so there’s some interchangeability.”
The customer who inspired this tailings reclamation barge is benefiting from all these perks and more: Thanks to the combined dedication of GIW experts and nearby Hagler Systems professionals, the client received a product entirely manufactured in North America with all of the pump parts having been created in the GIW Grovetown foundry and supported by our dedicated Fort McMurray Service Center team.
“We have a long relationship and history with the Hagler Systems team,” Timmerman says. “Combining our expertise helped the client get the best of both of worlds — the convenience of a single purchase point and a well-known barge and pump manufacturer that are located geographically close together.”
A perfect solution for the Oil Sands
This solution comes at a time when many Oil Sands mine operators are finding themselves in need of an efficient, cost-effective way to remove the water and light-duty tailings from their ponds.
“This design for this barge could be easily duplicated,” Timmerman says. “There’s a fair amount of tailings work that’s going to begin in the Oil Sands over the coming years to ensure the tailing ponds can be reclaimed.”
That’s where GIW comes in. If your current tailings reclamation solution isn’t cutting it, then it’s time to get in touch with the professionals at GIW. Our experts will create a cutting-edge solution that meets your most complex slurry needs — whether on land or in the water.