News from Schwing Bioset

A Pump for Growth at the Pinos Altos Paste Plant


Written by John Brown and Jose Luis Diaz

The Pinos Altos mine is located in northern Mexico in the mountains west of Chihuahua and is owned by Agnico Eagle. With more than eight years of operation utilizing both conventional open pit and underground paste backfill mining techniques, the mine now is set to increase its underground production to its design capacities. The major components of this expansion include increasing the hoisting capacity as well as increasing the capacity of the paste plant. The key element in the expansion of the paste plant is the piston pump utilized to transport the paste back underground to the stopes.

Pinos Altos Mine

Pinos Altos has been successfully using a Schwing Bioset KSP 140 pump with a capacity 80 m3/hr since the inception of the project nearly a decade ago. The solid performance and low operating and maintenance requirements made the selection of a larger KSP 220 piston pump from Schwing Bioset for the plant expansion project an easy decision.

Schwing Bioset delivered the new KSP 220 pump and a 1,000HP hydraulic power unit in July 2017. Our technicians returned to Pinos Altos in November 2017 to commission the new equipment to complete this phase of the project. Design discharge capacity for the paste plant has increased to 110 m3/hr and operates with extremely high efficiencies. The new pump is equipped with 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 commonly seen in paste pipelines and provide a more smoothly operating pumping system.

Pinos Altos Pump 1

The new pump transfers paste approximately 2.1 km underground at which point it is distributed to the appropriate stopes up to another 600 meters at an angle of inclination up to 32 degrees. This system is remotely controlled from the existing operations room on the surface and has allowed the operating capacity of the paste plant to increase by 30%, meeting all the projections from the beginning of the project.

To find out about our mining pump solutions, contact us or learn more here.

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Una bomba para el crecimiento - planta de pasta de Pinos Altos

La mina de Pinos Altos localizada al Norte de México en las montañas del Estado de Chihuahua perteneciente al grupo canadiense Agnico Eagle, por cerca de ocho años de operación ha utilizado ambas técnicas de minado, tajo abierto convencional y sistemas subterráneos de relleno hidráulico. La mina fue diseñada para incrementar su producción subterránea a sus capacidades inicialmente establecidas. La mayor razón de esta expansión incluye el incremento de capacidad operativa como también el incremento de producción de la planta de pastas. El elemento clave en expandir la producción de la planta de pastas en el pasado ha sido la utilización de la bomba de pistones para el transporte de la pasta de regreso al subterráneo de las cámaras.

Pinos Altos ha estado utilizando la bomba Schwing Bioset modelo KSP 140 con una capacidad de 80 m3/hr desde hace una década. El sólido rendimiento, el bajo costo operativo y de mantenimiento hicieron de la selección del modelo KSP 220 para la expansión de la planta de pastas, una decisión no muy difícil de tomar.

Schwing Bioset hizo entrega de la nueva bomba KSP 220 con su respectiva unidad hidráulica de 1000HP de potencia en Junio del 2017. Nuestros técnicos retornaron a Pinos Altos en noviembre de 2017 para el arranque y comisión de esta fase del proyecto. El diseño de la capacidad de descarga de la planta de pastas fue incrementada a 110 m3/h, operando con gran precisión y eficiencia. La nueva bomba equipada con un sistema propiedad Schwing Bioset llamado Circuito Ideal De Control o como sus siglas en ingles “Ideal control Circuit (ICC)”, el cual reduce los cambios de velocidad de flujo de pasta al final de cada golpe de bombeo, mitigando de esta forma, arietes de presión comúnmente vistos en las tuberías de pasta y proporcionando un sistema de bombeo estable.

La nueva bomba transporta la pasta aproximadamente 2.1 Km al subterráneo de la mina, para luego escalar 600 metros con un ángulo de inclinación de 32 grados, para finalmente ser distribuida a los distintas cámaras de relleno.

Este sistema es remotamente operado desde la sala de controles existente desde la superficie. Esto ha permitido el incremento de la capacidad operativa de la planta de pasta en un 30%, de acuerdo a las proyecciones hechas desde el inicio del proyecto.

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Tags: Pumps, Mining, Mining Pumps, Paste Backfilling, Paste Pumps

Pump Performance is Key in Nevada Mine Dewatering Operation


Schwing Bioset Application Report 16, Turquoise Ridge, NV

Written by Larry Trojak, Trojak Communications

Version also published in Engineering & Mining Journal 


Water is a critical element in any mining effort, aiding in everything from dust suppression to actual material recovery. Encountering larger volumes of it, however, can also be one of the biggest hindrances to mine production and efficiency. And when that water contains solids with trace amounts of gold, removing those solids is suddenly a very different procedure, changing from a material disposal effort to one with a focus on material recovery. Such is the case at the Turquoise Ridge gold mine near Golconda, NV, where a pair of Schwing KSP-50 sludge pumps are being used to get dewatered material to a site where its highly-valued content can be recovered. The fact that the area is 1,800 feet straight up and the material has a 40% solids content has taxed such previous efforts. However, the system currently in place has been performing flawlessly for better than nine years now, testimony to both its design and the heartiness of the equipment itself.


Water, Water, Everywhere . . .

The mine at Golconda, an almost decade-long joint venture between industry giants Barrick and Newmont Mining, sits on 50 square miles and has been in operation under various names and ownerships since the early 1900s. With a mine that size (current annual gold outputs at TR are in the 200,000 ounce range), encountering water is a normal part of the process and Turquoise Ridge is no exception, according to Bill Davenport, dewatering supervisor.

“It’s not uncommon to hit ‘pods’ of water or underground streams within the fractures of the rock; it is all naturally occurring water,” he says. “We have a huge development drift in the very bottom of the mine on the main decline drift and at the brow of that drift there is water coming out that just runs down the ramp. There are also areas on another drift in which we were drilling and blasting in advance of utilities and hit a pod that started releasing hot water at a rate of about 40 gallons/minute. Today, throughout the mine, we are pumping out between 650 and 700 gallons a minute—more than a million gallons a day.”

Schwing Bioset Mining Pump 

Waste? Not!

Previous efforts to deal with water issues first included using basic sumps to remove it. Mine personnel would then simply muck the residual solid material, dry it out in various drift locations and haul it to the MHD (material handling drift) to be shipped out of the mine. That all changed when it was discovered that the waste product had value.

“Back then, the residual material wasn’t being assayed for gold value so it was seen as nothing more than waste,” says Davenport. “When it was found to have a decent ore content, the whole process had to be revised. One effort included shipping the discharge water directly to a treatment process facility where it was treated for arsenic and other impurities. There, it was stored in a huge 500,000 gallon thickening tank, the solids were collected and sent on to the tailings facility using underflow thickener pumps.”

While that thought process was sound, adds Davenport, the decision to pump directly to the surface, rather than cascade-pump it from level to level, proved too much for that type of equipment. “When the pumps would fail—which was often—we would flood,” he says.

Around that same time, a hydrology study conducted by an engineering firm warned that, because of the inevitability of hitting more and more large pockets of water, a serious process upgrade was needed.

The JV team regrouped and opted for a design with clarifiers to settle out the dirt and decided that a positive displacement pump would be the best solution to handle a push of that vertical distance. In 2004, a major upgrade to the dewatering effort—including installation of a pair of 200 hp Schwing Bioset KSP 50 HDV sludge pumps—took place and has been at work ever since.


Positively Beneficial

Today all the water from the mining effort at Turquoise Ridge is captured through a series of multi-location, multi-level sumps and drain holes and shipped to either permanent pump skids (with 4” X 3” centrifugal pumps) or to 8” X 6” permanent pump stations. From there it is directed to a trio of 16,000 gallon clarifiers located an area in a drift adjacent to the main dewatering station. The clarifiers act as thickeners allowing the solids in the dirty water to settle out. The clear water is decanted into two other larger 19,000 gallon clear water basins. Half of that clear water is sent on for subsequent treatment and routed to rapid infiltration basins in nearby Valley; the remainder is re-used in the mining operation. Infiltrated water meets Federal drinking water standards.

“At that point, we have to dispose of the solids from the clarifiers, and the pumps make that possible,” says Davenport. “After leaving the clarifiers, that material is about 20% solids content and it has to be pumped through 3-inch pipe almost vertically for a distance of about 1,900 feet. Just after it reaches the collar of the shaft, it is discharged into a 12-inch pipe and carried roughly a mile and a half to the tailings area. That’s an amazing load to place on any piece of equipment”

When the solids content of the material gets too high for effective pumping, onsite personnel simply introduce water to the mixture using a port at the pump’s suction box, lowering the solids and enhancing flowability. Davenport says they run the pumps at the start of each shift for about three hours, and move, on average, about 15 tons of material in a 24-hour period. While performance is an obvious attribute, he is equally pleased with the pumps’ low maintenance demands, citing only a periodic change of poppets, pressure seats and ring to keep them in “fighting” shape.

“By comparison, over at one of our sister mines, we have duplex pumps working in support of autoclaves and the slurries they create. Those are extremely expensive pumps and the maintenance demands associated with them are brutal—that’s a tough one-two punch. Because mines are all about production, they have those pumps working continuously at maximum speed and, as a result, are constantly replacing pistons, rings and so on. Granted, we are only doing a fraction of the volumes they are, but we are pumping against 800 p.s.i. which is huge. As far as reliability and cost to operate, I’m certain our pumps are hands-down a better investment.

Schwing Bioset Underground Mining Pumps 

Additional Recovery

As mentioned above, even the waste product from a mine contains gold—in this case, about ¼ ounce per ton—so material that has been placed to the tailings area is far from ready for disposal.

“The material that the pumps moved out to those 13 cells is dug out and spread to dry prior to shipping it off to Newmont’s Twin Creeks facility to start the process of final recovery. At that point all the gold will have been recovered,” says Davenport

Mining is a tough application on any piece of equipment, but especially so on one that is regularly dealing with high operating pressures and abrasive material. Davenport cites the reliability of the equipment and the solid support they’ve received since installation almost a decade ago as key reasons for that ongoing success.

“My guys maintain them well; in this business you have to,” he says. “But these pumps have been extremely good at providing support to our operation. This mine is growing and its growing to a point where there might be some changes made in a couple of years. There is talk about adding another dewatering site in the lower part of the mine and installing some additional sludge pumps. I can’t say what will happen at that point, but there’s no denying we’ll be thinking about the outstanding performance we’ve gotten from the pumps.”


Contact us to learn more about our pumps for mining, municipal, or industrial applications.


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Tags: Sludge Pumps, Pumps, Mining, Mining Pumps

Schwing Bioset Hires Mining Sales Engineer for the U.S. and Canada


Schwing Bioset, Inc., (SBI) is excited to announce the hire of John Brown as the new Mining Sales Engineer for the U.S. and Canada. John will oversee mining sales activities as SBI continues to expand its presence in the mining industry.

John Brown-cropped-1.jpg

John has been involved for several years in the mining and industrial sectors with a focus in sales and business development. With a degree in Chemical Engineering, he also has extensive training on hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

John has been a supplier of hydraulic components, proportional valves, and hydraulic systems solutions, and has sold business automation and instrumentation systems for the mining process. He has also been involved in different sectors of the mining industry in the extraction process, repairing and rebuilding mining drilling machines, as well as supplying components for the metallurgical process, such as conveyors and hydraulic motors. John has also sold high precision transducers to the mining arena and mobile machinery and sensors for organic solutions in the mining process.

Although born in Detroit, John has a multi-cultural background, growing up surrounded by the mining industry in Peru and Chile. Working with different cultures and mining segments has given him an exceptionally thorough overview of the industry. With his history of increasing presence internationally with former companies, and his extensive knowledge of the mining industry and processes, John is a wonderful addition to our sales team as it works to achieve its growth objectives.    

John’s office location will be in Somerset, WI, and he can be contacted at (715) 247-3433 or To learn more about our mining pumps, click here.


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Tags: Announcements, New Hire, Mining

Schwing Bioset Hires Latin America Regional Sales Manager


March 9th, 2017 (Somerset, WI)

Schwing Bioset, Inc., is excited to announce the hire of Jose Luis Diaz Lopez as the new Latin America Regional Sales Manager. Jose will oversee all Latin America Sales activities, as the company seeks to expands its presence in these markets.

Jose 2.jpg

Jose has over ten years of experience in the sales of equipment and spare parts for the mining and construction markets, including Schwing Bioset equipment. With a degree Civil Engineering, his sales experience, and Schwing Bioset product knowledge, Jose will help improve the company’s market presence as it works to achieve its growth objectives.    

“Jose has extensive training and expertise with pumps and equipment in our markets and is adept at listening to the Clients’ needs and developing solutions that solve their long-term goals.  Jose is a perfect addition to our team. I have confidence that he will be able to successfully direct our sales efforts within his territory and solve the needs of our current and future customers,” said Chuck Wanstrom, Director of New Business Development.

Jose’s office location will be in Hermosillo, Mexico, and he can be contacted at +52 1 662 937 3189 or More contact information is available at

About Schwing Bioset 
For more than 25 years, Schwing Bioset has been helping wastewater treatment plants, mines, and power generation customers by engineering material handling solutions. Schwing Bioset’s custom engineered solutions can be found in hundreds of wastewater treatment plants in North American as well as mines and tunnels around the world.


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Tags: Announcements, New Hire, Mining

Schwing Bioset, Inc. is Exhibiting at MINExpo 2016


Schwing Bioset, Inc. is excited to be exhibiting at the 2016 MINExpo Event in Las Vegas on September 26 - 28.  

Please be sure to stop by our booth (#4258) while you're on the exhibit floor. We will be displaying our NEW KSP 315XL - SSL, which is the largest pump we manufacture. This pump uses the most modern technology in Positive Displacement Piston Pumps with our proprietary “Synchro Flow System” to minimize line pulsation and is capable of up to 230 m3/hr and 150 Bar of material pressure. 

Schwing Bioset Team members attending the show include our President, Tom Anderson, as well as Erik Weisser, Dan Anderson, and Paul Katka from our Engineering, Service, and Spare Parts departments. Our rep dealers will also be present. If you'd like to meet with one of our team members, please email us and we'll put you in touch with the appropriate person. Visit the conference website to view the event details and exhibition map:

As a recognized leader in the Mining Industry, Schwing Bioset, Inc. (SBI) provides Mining Pumps designed for paste, thickened tailings, slimes, and any other high solids slurries pumping application. Delivering dependable service day after day in underground and surface operations,  our pumps are known to stand up to the harshest of site conditions, proven by the many years of reliable operation in surface and underground mines around the world. We also offer high quality paste plant equipment including twin shaft batch mixers and specialized design services. 

Schwing Bioset is your one stop solution for mining projects and also offers fluidized bed drying technologies for internal and surface moisture removal and size reduction for a variety of coals, potash, salts, etc., and sliding frame storage bins for wet coal storage, paste, ash, biomass, wood waste, and sludge. We also maintain a significant spare parts inventory at our Wisconsin headquarters to ensure quick turnaround for customer requests.

Read about our Mining Pumps and other products hereand then stop by booth 4258 to learn more!

We hope to see you at MINExpo 2016!



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Tags: Events, Mining, Expos

Two Solutions from Schwing Bioset in June International Mining Magazine

Schwing Bioset, Inc. is excited to be featured in the Paste Supplement section of International Mining's June 2016 issue.The article discusses Schwing Bioset's recently commissioned pump solutions for backfill and thickened tailings challenges.

View the Paste Supplement section where Schwing Bioset's projects are discussed.

View the entire International Mining June issue on their website.

You can read more about these and other projects on our blog.  To learn about Schwing Bioset's Mining Solutions, contact Miguel Jahncke or visit our Mining Pumps page.




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Tags: Mining, Mining Pumps, Paste Backfilling, Mining Paste, Tailings

Meeting the Growing Demands of a Successful Mining Operation – The Schwing Bioset Solution


Written by Miguel Jahncke, May 2, 2016

The San Jose mine, one of the flagship operations of Fortuna Silver Mines, Inc., located in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, was commissioned in July 2011 and began commercial production in September 2011 at a rate of 1,000 tpd. In September of 2013, the mill was expanded from 1,150 tpd to 1,800 tpd and in April 2014, the mill was further expanded to 2,000 tpd. Expansion of the mill from 2,000 tpd to 3,000 tpd was initiated in the first quarter of 2015 with commissioning planned for July 2016.


(Shown Above: Old Plant Installation)

During the initial installation, the operation received two Schwing Bioset KSP80 pumps, one for operation and one for stand-by. As the reserves increased and the mine production and processing plant expanded, San Jose evaluated different options for handling the additional mine backfill requirement, finally deciding upon the reconfiguration of the KSP80 pumps and their installation at the new and improved Paste Plant, in a parallel arrangement. This new arrangement allows San Jose to handle double their initial paste flow capacity with no additional investment in larger pumps.


(Shown Above: New Plant Installation)

In addition to the parallel arrangement, Schwing Bioset also upgraded the Control Panel with its patented multi-pump synchronization system. This system allows both pumps to continuously “talk” and make adjustments to their stroke timing while pumping, ensuring that, regardless of the pump speed, continuous flow through the pipeline is achieved, mitigating the potentially negative effects of water hammer. 

The new system was recently commissioned and now operates as a single 4-cylinder pump with no need for additional pipeline pressure dampening to maintain smooth pumping operations, as would be expected from multiple independent pumps feeding a common pipeline. The configuration also allows for the units to be decoupled for maintenance or when plant tailings delivery is reduced, continuing operation with two cylinders to maintain the single pump flow capacity.

Further proving their versatility and toughness, the Schwing Bioset pumps were the only component that was saved from the old Paste Plant to be reutilized in the new Paste Plant. Upon completion of the 3,000 tpd expansion, the mine will produce 9-10 million ounces of silver and 52,000-53,000 ounces of gold per year, ranking the San Jose Mine among the world's top-13 primary silver producing mines.

To learn more about this project specifically or learn more about our mining backfill pumps, please contact this blog’s author, Miguel Jahncke, call 715.247.3433, and/or visit our website here: SBI Mining Pumps.


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Tags: Mining, Mining Pumps, Paste Backfilling

Solving Several Challenges with One Schwing Bioset Solution


Written by Miguel Jahncke, March 10, 2016

In late 2012, Volcan Compania Minera S.A.A.’s Victoria mineral processing plant, located in the Yauli district, department of Junin in Peru, was facing a number of challenges including the approval of their Environmental Impact Statement for the capacity expansion from 2,400 to 4,000 tpd of ore.

The project also required the expansion of the Rumichaca Tailings site to accommodate the increased production levels. Pumping thickened tailings, rather than conventional tailings, was determined to be the best long-term and financial solution to handle the mining rejects. The project continued to evolve in that direction. 

In mid-2014, when the final solution for the thickened tailings transport was being evaluated, it was determined that the solution offered by Schwing Bioset, its model KSP440 piston pump, was ideal for the project for the following reasons:

  • The KSP 440 unit is capable of the required maximum flow of 185 m3/hr as well as reduced flow of 92 m3/hr when at low plant production rates, which is expected at certain times by idling a module within the pump.
  • Half of the pump can be idled while half continues to operate allowing for preventive maintenance to be performed while operations continue at a slower pace or to accommodate unscheduled downtime.
  • Elimination of additional and costly stand-by equipment, with the modular pump arrangement.
  • Drastic reduction of water hammer in the discharge line without the use of Pulsation Dampeners through PLC synchronization that monitors and adjusts the timing of the pumping strokes.
  • Electric motor and hydraulic redundancy in the power pack allowing partial capacity in the event of unscheduled maintenance.

To learn more about this project specifically or our mining pumps, please contact this blog’s author, Miguel Jahncke, call 715.247.3433, and/or visit our website here: SBI Mining Pumps.


Rumichaca_mining pumps.jpg 

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Tags: Piston Pumps, Mining, Mining Pumps, Mining Paste

Update: Start Up of Piston Pumps at Big Island Mine


Written by Dale Bone, December 9, 2015

Here’s an update to the OCI Big Island Mine story that was posted in August of 2015.

In late October, the first Schwing Bioset KSP 220 piston pump was successfully commissioned at the OCI Big Island Mine.  The Schwing Bioset, Inc. (SBI) team was able to give OCI all of the information and control to their DCS system allowing them to monitor pressures, volumes, and all systems deemed critical by OCI. 

Since they are pumping material nearly three miles through an eight inch pipe, SBI was able to set the soft shift at the optimal position for the required pressure and volume range.  According to the OCI Project Manager, OCI is now able to pump higher solids content, which allows the material to stack better in the mine stopes and reduce water usage.  The underground crew also commented that the pipe is very still and the dynamics are nearly nonexistent. 

Once power was installed on the second pump, SBI returned to Big Island Mine and commissioned the second unit.  Minor enhancements were made on the programming of both PLC’s after pump one had been running continuously for three weeks.  SBI installed test equipment to monitor housing pressure and determined there was virtually no pressure spike during shifting, which ensures maximum component life and no pipeline dynamics. 

SBI also trained OCI employees on service and maintenance using one machine during down time.  The SBI equipment is working perfectly and a follow up visit in January will be conducted for onsite customer-specific Pump Service School.

To learn more about this project or product, contact this blog’s author, Dale Bone or visit our mining pumps page. For other information call 715.247.3433, visit our website, or follow us on social media.

Schwing Bioset Mining Piston Pump   Schwing Bioset Big Island Mine Piston Pump



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Tags: Piston Pumps, Mining, Mining Pumps

Schwing Bioset Featured in International Mining


Schwing Bioset, Inc. is excited to be featured in the Slurry Pumping section of International Mining's December issue.

The article discusses Schwing Bioset's recently commissioned pumps for a backfill application at Volcan Compañía Minera's Andaychagua mine, as well as the new piston pump installation at OCI Chemical Corp's Big Island Mine.

View the Slurry Pumping section where Schwing Bioset's projects are discussed (starting on page 36).

View the entire International Mining December issue.

You can read more about these projects on our blog.  To learn more about Schwing Bioset's Mining Solutions, contact Miguel Jahncke or visit our Mining Pumps page.




Tags: Piston Pumps, Mining, Mining Pumps, Paste Backfilling