Written by John Brown, April 2018
The Myra Falls mine, owned by Nyrstar, is located in a provincial park in central Vancouver Island (British Columbia) and is linked only by a 90 km asphalt road to the port of Campbell River. In 2002, Myra Falls constructed a paste plant to manage their tailings that included two KSP-110V(HD)L pumps with a maximum capacity of 82 m3/hr at 8.62 MPa. Each pump was equipped with hydraulic units that had a capacity of 600 HP.
For years the KSP 110’s had been pumping paste-tailings material nearly 2 miles to either a surface tailings pond or back underground to the stopes through an eight-inch pipe without any problems. Myra Falls relied on Schwing Bioset for over seven years of operation and service of the pump systems. Economic conditions then led to the suspension of mining operations which are now scheduled to resume in 2018.
To keep the operation running as smoothly as before, an engineering analysis was performed on the existing facilities to evaluate the equipment and processes in place. As part of this analysis, Nyrstar decided to increase the capacity of their operation by replacing the KSP 110 pumps with new KSP 140’s that provide nearly 30% more capacity and to recondition the existing power units. The two power packs for the KSP 110’s were sent back to the Schwing Bioset factory and these 15 year old power units will be updated with the newest hydraulic designs and componentry.
The new KSP 140’s will also be using Schwing Bioset’s proprietary Ideal Control Circuit (ICC), which reduces paste flow velocity changes at the end of each pumping stroke to mitigate the pressure surges that can be seen in paste pipelines. This internal dampening system is achieved with simple position sensors and programming and avoids the complexities of other dampening systems available on the market.
(Photo shows one of the Myra Falls pumps in the Schwing Bioset facility being prepped to ship to the job site).