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Weekly Features
New technology changes sediment removal methods
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15th June 2012
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Water technology company Xylem (formerly known as ITT Water & Wastewater South Africa) is enjoying success with its recently introduced SlurryRat, a new floating dredge system for the removal of slurry from process water.

“The SlurryRat will change the way mining companies approach the removal of mineral sediments from process ponds, dams and storage tanks,” Xylem South Africa sales director Darryl Macdougall tells Mining Weekly.

Incorporating Flygt slurry pumps, the SlurryRat, devel-oped by Australia-based dredging and dewatering specialist UAT, and distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa exclusively by Xylem, is an industrial-strength pond cleaner, providing a robust and efficient method of dealing with the slimes and slurries produced from a range of mining industries.

Recent success stories include cleaning out a process water dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo and dredging a stormwater dam containing valuable concen-trate at a mine in the North West province.

“This new technology is attracting a great deal of atten-tion in the market as a solution to dredging lined dams without the risk of damaging the dam liner,” says Macdougall. “It has been demonstrated to be efficient and cost effective and customers are impressed by the system’s ability to be customised to suit site-specific conditions.”

Without requiring cutter heads, the electrically powered and remotely controlled Slurry-Rat operates by means of a unique combination of suction and agitation that protect valuable plastic liners, while extracting most high-density sediments for reprocessing.

“The local market was well overdue for a system like this, because, until now, sediment removal has been a tricky, time- consuming and often neglected task that risks damaging the pond liners,” comments Macdougall.

“If unattended, sediment build-up will result in poor pond performance. The SlurryRat efficiently addresses these issues, supporting the notion that bodies of water are plant assets and should be well maintained to increase their operational efficiency.”

Rebranding Complete
Earlier this year, Xylem completed its global spin-off from the ITT Corporation and began a new chapter as a complete water solutions provider. Formed from several of ITT Corporation’s water, fluid handling and analytics businesses, Xylem brings to the African mining industry a combination of leading brands, products, services and applications expertise.

“We are well positioned to partner with the African mining industry to tackle two of its biggest challenges – acid mine drainage and water scarcity,” says Macdougall. “Access to innovative pump technologies has made us a world leader in pumping applications.

“Our Flygt submersible dewatering pumps have proved over several decades to be the best choice for draining the most demanding mines and quarries and removing water from tunnelling projects. And, with the addition of Godwin Pumps to our dewatering product portfolio, we now offer the world’s leading surface-mounted and submersible pumps from one source. We also offer the most comprehensive range of pumps for rental and emergency response.”

Xylem recently added three new sludge pumps to its Flygt 2600 drainage range. The 2620.280, 2630.280, and 2640.28 models are multipurpose drainage pumps for the mining, tunnelling, municipal, industrial and construction markets and are available for rent or purchase. The hydraulic ends of the new sludge pumps share drive units and common parts and are interchangeable with similar sized models of the 2600 drainage series.

“All our solutions are based on the total cost of ownership and life-cycle costing, against a background of the harsh conditions and remote locations of many mining operations, which require high reliability and durability,” Macdougall points out.

“We offer a full range of electric and hydraulic submersible pumps for general duty in dewatering, bypass, drainage and sludge applications, as well as a range of pumps for water recovery, wash-down sumps, water supply and wastewater treatment, including vertical turbine, bore hole pumps and an array of durable centrifugal pumps.

“Our fully automatic diesel, electric or natural gas powered solids-handling dry-priming pumps focus on high-volume and high-discharge heads, while the horizontal dry-mounted and submersible abrasion-resistant slurry pumps with agitators are in demand for the removal and handling of abrasive and corrosive liquids. These systems are supplemented with vertical and horizontal multi-stage pumps, stainless steel submersible centrifugal and vertical multistage centrifugal pumps for wastewater handling.”

Xylem’s South Africa head office is located in Bartlett, Gauteng, with branches in Rustenburg and Cape Town. Xylem South Africa also has representation across the African continent in Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Mauritius, Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

From its offices and service centre in Boksburg and through its regional distribution network, Xylem is able to offer full technical, design and aftermarket support, based on an extensive stockholding of complete pump units and spare parts.


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COST-EFFECTIVE SLURRY REMOVAL Xylem’s SlurryRat, a new floating dredge system for the removal of slurry from process water, is being applied at numerous sites across Africa and has been well received by the market so far

COST-EFFECTIVE SLURRY REMOVAL Xylem’s SlurryRat, a new floating dredge system for the removal of slurry from process water, is being applied at numerous sites across Africa and has been well received by the market so far