The ongoing build-up of slurry, due to inefficiencies in the thickener process, had become a major issue at this process plant. Lee Vine, managing director of Integrated Pump Rental, said the company’s technical team was called in to evaluate the situation and propose an optimum solution.
“Water retention remains a critical operational issue on process plants, and in situations such as this one, where the tank was 80% slurry, effective desilting needs to take place as quickly as possible,” Vine explained.
The tank, which has a 30m diameter, was 8m deep and installed above ground. This meant that the Integrated Pump Rental team had to first install scaffolding around the circumference to ensure a safe working platform for the operators. Customised trolleys were also built to allow the winching system to operate on the rim of the tank.
Vine stated that is not unusual for the company to provide ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions for challenging applications. “We are focused on providing the most appropriate solution for any given application, and this is just what we did for this platinum sector customer,” he said.
Designed and engineered by Integrated Pump Rental, the SlurrySucker dredge unit is capable of extracting high tonnages due to the design and engineering of the dredge head. The SlurrySucker Maxi has a 150mm discharge and is capable of removing between 70-80 dry tonnes per hour. The slurry from the tank was pumped back to the thickener for reprocessing.
“One of the major advantages is that the dredging operation can be performed without any downstream processes having to be halted,” Vine concluded.
In addition to the SlurrySucker, Integrated Pump Rental operates an extensive pump rental fleet, which includes Grindex submersible drainage and dewatering pumps, diesel-driven pumps and accessories, and its SlurryBlaster hydro-mining system. Value added services such as dam cleaning and pontoons, pump flotation modules and pipe floats are also available.