Pumping Iron: GIW and KSB Pumps Power Australian Iron Ore Mine
Iron ore mining is demanding enough, but it’s an especially harsh enterprise in far northwestern Australia, where temperatures can reach well past 110 F in the summer. Hope Downs needed pumping equipment suited to such extreme conditions for its newest mine, Hope Downs 4 in Western Australia. In 2011, the joint venture chose KSB Australia Pty Ltd, part of GIW’s parent company KSB Group, to supply heavy-duty GIW slurry pumps and KSB process pumps to the project.
Hope Downs 4 is the first project of this size where both slurry and non-slurry pumps have been awarded to a KSB company. David Tuckwell, Mining Sales Engineer for KSB Australia, explains why providing both slurry and non-slurry pumps offers a unique and beneficial situation for the customer: “As a supplier, we have experts who work in the slurry field and other experts who work with water pumps. Being able to work on both sides of the project is a specialty for us.”
GIW’s SLYSEL plays a key role
To ensure that the slurry and water pumps are optimal for the mine’s intense iron-ore extraction and wet-processing practices, the KSB team relied on its engineering expertise and GIW’s revolutionary SLYSEL software.
“The SLYSEL program provided by GIW is one of the best slurry pump-selection tools in the world,” Tuckwell says. “It enables us to look at the design of the system and identify the equipment that can go in and run at optimal levels for the application.”
After deliberation and testing that also took into account the extreme climate and isolation of the Hope Downs 4 site, KSB chose several pumping packages to outfit the mine’s systems:
- a fire and raw water pump package and sump pump package onsite, with a total of 31 pumps
- a slurry pump package that features 8×10 LSA pumps and LCC slurry pumps
- a process water pumping package that includes 18×18 LSA pumps, LCC process water pumps, waste fines recirculation, cloth wash return pumps, gland water pumps, and waste fines pumps.
The KSB team is currently testing the entire pumping system extensively before the mine goes into production and has made some key changes to the system based on test results. For instance, when the team realized some of the cloth wash return pumps were seeing more slurry than they were designed for, they were able to fit a bigger wet end quickly. “Because of the interchangeability of the parts, it was an easy upgrade — we can use the same pedestal and change out the parts to increase the flow,” Tuckwell says.
Building customer confidence
The Hope Downs 4 project is a testament to KSB’s commitment to long-term customer satisfaction. “It’s important to measure wear on equipment quickly, keep up with ongoing maintenance, and provide 100 percent customer support,” Tuckwell says. “It gives the end user satisfaction, results, and confidence in KSB and GIW products as a solution for all their pump and servicing requirements.”