Anglo Platinum Ltd, part of Anglo American PLC, is the world's largest primary producer of Platinum group metals (PGMs). Much of the PGM ore is processed at centralised smelters including their Waterval Smelter plant who have been very satisfied with the Verderflex® VF125 pumps that were bought in late 2006.
Robday Mining Supplies, the local partner of Verder Pumps SA (Pty) Ltd, provide mining supplies to most of the mines in the Rustenburg area. Of these, the Angloplat operation has three running VF125 pumps at their Waterval Smelter plant.
"The VF125 pump, the largest pump in the Verderflex® peristaltic range can cope with the toughest of pumping tasks, such as the platinum slurry at the Waterval Smelter plant, with the greatest of ease." states Robday Mining Supplies Managing Director Ritchie Lamb.
With the change of processes at the smelter and the need for reliable quality pumps, Div de Villiers, Engineering Specialist at the Waterval Smelter, took into consideration the Verder range of pumps renowned for their durability, and able to withstand the demand for the capacity for the pumping of slurries.
"After a strategic consultation with Robday Mining Supplies, three VF125 pumps were acquired for the plant. The offloading pump, transfers the concentrate (SG 1.5) from the trucks to the tank, previously this took one hour 45 minutes, and using the VF125 this offloading has cut right down to 20 minutes. The conditioner pump, working the hardest at ten hours each day, provides circulation within the process, keeping the slurry in suspension and ensuring no sediment to settle. The transfer pump transfers the (SG 1.7) slurry 600m to the filter plant. The conditioner pump works approximately ten hours a day the other two pumps only operate four to five hours a day when the slurry needs to be pumped.
The pumps are limited to 50m³/h for SG of 1.7 even though the pump has a capacity to pump up to 80m³," says Pieter Gresse, Waterval Smelter Fitter.
Gresse who has been with the tollbay smelter plant for 11 years says that the pumps are operating smoothly, with only the regular maintenance that has to be performed on the hoses. "We are extremely happy with pump's operation," he confirms.
Due to the increase in demand on the pumping of slurries at the smelter, de Villiers has advised Robday that a second tollbay plant is on the cards by the end of the year. This new plant is expected to be built next to the existing plant, will double in size, and will use 6 VF125 pumps to accommodate the capacity.
Moreover, de Villiers is so impressed by the quality of Verder's pumps that Verder's range of pumps will gradually replace the existing competitor ones when coming across major repairs and/or modifications at the smelter.
In the 17 years that de Villiers has been with Anglo Platinum, he says that he has never received such outstanding service, as he has from Robday Mining Supplies. "We are in an extremely fortunate position to be receiving such professional expertise and product knowledge from Robday. Since becoming the plant's preferred service provider eight months ago, the plant has benefited tremendously from the sound pumping knowledge from the mining suppliers," concludes de Villiers.
Furthermore, with the recommendation from Robday, a VF100 pump was recently delivered to the UG2 Concentrator, the newest plant in the area by the same operation. "This is the first of the Verder range of pumps at the particular plant. In time, the durability of Verder’s quality pumps will break the competitor stronghold at the plant," Lamb speculates.