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

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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 Download Our Brochures    or Application Reports

 

 

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.

Old_Plant_Installation.jpg

(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.

New_Plant_Installation1.jpg

(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

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.

 

Schwing_Bioset_December_2015_International_Mining_Submitted.png

 

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

Schwing Bioset adds Synergy Controls as Mining Rep in Ontario and Manitoba

 

January 12, 2015 (Somerset, WI) 

Schwing Bioset, Inc. is pleased to announce that Synergy Controls Corporation (Sudbury, ON) has signed on as their Mining Representative in Ontario and Manitoba. Schwing Bioset is a worldwide leader in thick product pumping and material handling solutions. “Synergy Controls’ extensive knowledge of mining processes and excellent reputation in the market in serving their customer base make them a great choice as a partner,” explains Scott Springer, Schwing Bioset’s Vice President Sales & Marketing.  “They have a great presence both at the mines and with the Engineering contractors”.

Mike Gribbons (President of Synergy Controls Corporation) stated, “Schwing Bioset was our first choice for a high pressure slurry pump.  Schwing impressed us with both their experience and technology.   Coupling that with, North American made systems and a large inventory of completed pumps and spares fully complements our paste and back fill solutions. This allows our clients a “one stop shop” providing pumps, valves, instruments and control solutions.”

Miguel Jahncke (Schwing Bioset Director of Mining Solutions) is excited about this key partnership. “The Synergy Controls organization’s history of providing mining clients with engineered solutions supports Schwing Bioset’s mission of providing the best high solids content slurries transportation and handling solutions in the mining industry. Their efforts at the Ontario EPCM’s will help Schwing Bioset’s mining business globally.”

SBI Synergy Combined Logos sm 

www.synergycontrols.com                                    www.schwingbioset.com

Tags: Piston Pumps, Schwing Bioset, Pumps, Hydraulic Pumps, Mining Pumps, Slurry Pumps, Paste Backfilling, Mining Paste

Schwing Bioset Featured in E&MJ Engineering and Mining Journal

Paste: A Maturing Technology

Pump Supports Backfill Operation at Mexican Mine

engineering and mining journal

Paste backfilling, the process by which a combination of tailings, water and cementacious materials are blended and used to fill voids in underground mining operations, provides a broad range of benefits. These can include an improvement in safety, the ability to make subsequent surface development possible, a reasonable solution to the ever-present problem of what to do with tailings, and more. It’s not surprising, then, that Canadian miner Agnico-Eagle chose paste backfilling as the key tailings disposal method for one of its newest developments, the Chihuahua, Mexico-based Pinos Altos mine. But while creating the paste is one issue, getting it to the mine stopes—which in this case can be anywhere from 1.5 to 2 km away—is another one entirely. To make that happen, Agnico-Eagle turned to a pump model from Schwing Bioset (Somerset, Wisconsin, USA), and is reporting impressive performance delivering material in this around-the-clock operation.

Back into the Ground
Located in the Sierra Madre gold belt, 140 miles (225 km) west of the capital of Chihuahua state, Pinos Altos contains reserves of more than 3.5 million oz of gold and 100 million oz of silver. Operational as a surface pit since 2008—with underground mining started in 2010—the 27,180-acre (110-km2) site is expected to generate yearly outputs of 170,000 oz of gold and 2.5 million oz of silver through the year 2028. The end result of that gold milling operation is a steady stream of tailings—a volume which is currently about 2,500 t/d but could easily be doubled with an increase in production. According to Moises Palma, engineer in charge of the site’s paste plant, paste backfilling was always the method of choice for tailings disposal at Pinos Altos.

“The tailings operation was designed with this procedure in mind,” said Palma. “Currently, we take waste material by conveyor from the milling plant, and run it up an inclined belt into a batch plant. There, the tailings make their way through a process in which they are combined with cement and water to create a paste. The cement—roughly 5% of the overall mixture—is added to make the paste suitable for filling and supporting the existing underground cavities that have already been mined.  Once the correct mixture is achieved, it is dropped down into the hopper for the paste pump and ready for delivery back to the mine.”

Mine backfilling is hardly a new concept. What has changed over the years, however, is the characteristic of the backfill material itself. In the past, to accommodate the limited pumping technology available in most mines, tailings had to be turned into a slurry with a water content of 70% or more. By comparison, the paste material generated at Pinos Altos is stout, with a water content of roughly 30% and a slump generally in the 8-in. (203-mm) range.

Technology Changes the Game
The difference between what could once be pumped and what can be moved today has been mining companies’ preference for piston pumps over centrifugal pumps in tailings operations. Where other previous technology offered limited pumping pressure (often as low as 10 bar), the Schwing KSP 140 H(HD)XL pump in place at Pinos Altos provides a maximum conveying pressure of 130 bar with paste outputs up to 85 m3/hr—ideal, according to Palma, for moving the high-solids material long distances.

The Schwing pump we use here at Pinos Altos is perfect for what we do,” he said. “This is a challenging application, given the thickness of the paste, the distance it has to be pumped—currently about 1.5 km—and the pump’s almost continuous operation. Yet, we are getting a steady rate of about 126 tons of material pumped every hour—roughly 2,500 tons per day. We have been extremely pleased with that kind of performance.”

Based on the nature of the paste and the desired production rates, engineers from Schwing-Bioset recommended its XL pump option for the Pinos Altos operation. Poppets in the XL series are designed to reduce material velocity through the poppet housing.  Doing so minimizes the pressure drop through the valve housing, increases the filling efficiency of the pumping cylinders and reduces wear on the poppet discs, seats and pumping rams—all of which lead to better performance and less downtime.

To keep the pump running and the paste flowing, Pinos Altos relies on an air-cooled Model PP2400 drive unit that is powered by twin 400-hp (300-kW) motors, also supplied by Schwing Bioset. This is mounted adjacent to the pump at the base of the paste plant, and includes PLC-based controls. While the initial plan was for the pump to operate up to 10 strokes per minute and deliver 126 t/h, operations are running so smoothly that mine officials are looking to raise production another 20%.

Safety Leads the Way
As mentioned above, the decision to use a paste backfill is generally based upon the benefits that the technique provides. At Pinos Altos, it enhanced overall mine safety by providing mining crews with dramatically improved structural stability within the stope. Palma says their operating procedure for that facet of the job is far more than simply pouring mud into a hole.

“We are pumping into three main stopes and doing so in three-foot lifts with three days between pours,” he said. “Not only does that allow enough time for the paste mixture to harden, it also avoids placing the massive stress load on that cell and adjacent areas that would be present if we filled it all. This first cell alone will be taking on more than 13,000 tons of material, which is over 8,300 m3 of paste.”

To put that figure into context, 8,300 m3 ( 10,855 yd3) is enough material to bury an entire basketball court over 13 ft (4 m) deep.

Though the other two stopes currently being filled are smaller—one will hold 7,100 tons and the other 6,600 tons—they still represent a sizable movement of material from the paste plant to the mine.  Discharge into the cells is monitored via closed-circuit camera to ensure the process runs smoothly and any problems can be quickly spotted.

Looking Ahead
In addition to making the mining effort safer, paste backfilling at Pinos Altos is also addressing a number of other concerns that have plagued similar mining operations for decades. Most notable of these is the issue of how to best dispose of tailings from the cyanide-based gold recovery operation. Traditional approaches such as surface storage, while initially less expensive, can bring unwelcome environmental impacts. Paste backfilling not only solves those concerns, it does so in a manner that eliminates the mine dewatering necessary with other disposal efforts.

“This has been a very successful approach to tailings disposal for us,” said Palma. “As a result of what we do here, the mining operation is safer, there is almost no impact on the environment and, over time, it is actually a lower cost alternative to other methods. Agnico-Eagle has already started talks to boost production by almost twice what we are doing now. When that happens, we will add another pump from Schwing Bioset which will allow us to handle between 5,000 and 6,000 tons per day. We know they will be up to the task and we are excited for what lies ahead.”

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