Weir boosts Yara processes through partnership

Weir Minerals’ integrated solutions approach has helped the Yara Siilinjärvi mine in Finland increase its tailings storage space without expanding the mine’s footprint
Weir boosts Yara processes through partnership Weir boosts Yara processes through partnership Weir boosts Yara processes through partnership Weir boosts Yara processes through partnership Weir boosts Yara processes through partnership

Weir Minerals said it termed its customer-centric approach ‘integrated solutions’

Staff reporter

For Weir Minerals ‘integrated solutions' means that same things as a partnership with its customers. In addition to being a processing equipment supplier, the company said it can offer engineering expertise, technical know-how and local support for customers from its 100 service centres.

"Mine operators need more than just another equipment supplier, they need someone they can rely on and we take every opportunity to partner with our customers," said John McNulty, vice president global engineering and technology for Weir Minerals.

"Our team work with the customer to understand their vision, identify any problems and then work with them at real solutions, not remotely but on site. Wherever possible we want to be part of the entire process from the brainstorming right through to the installation."

In Finland, the Weir Minerals team helped Yara's Siilinjärvi phosphate mine to increase its tailings storage space without expanding the mine's footprint.

Yara's existing tailings storage facility (TSF) was reaching full capacity. The company conducted an extensive study for future storage of tailings and decided to go for a thickened tailings solution. The tailings would be thickened to 68-72% by weight in order to build a +2-degree deposit, thereby sufficiently increasing the storage capacity.

Weir Minerals supplied a complete pumping solution to Yara, comprising of three GEHO TZPM 2000 pumps and Warman centrifugal pumps. In addition, Weir Minerals also supplied the required hydraulic actuated slurry valves, suction strainers, slurry instrumentation and helped develop the functional description for Yara's distributed control system (DCS).

The system was successfully commissioned in February 2017, with slurry solids concentrations reaching target, resulting in a slope at the TSF of approximately 3 degrees. This has extended the current life of the mine well beyond 2035.