Following the incorporation of various product lines into its portfolio over the past decade, Weir Minerals Africa has cemented its status in the mining sector as a minerals processing expert.

In line with its strategic vision to maintain this position moving forward, the company has grown its solutions-centric minerals processing offering further through the introduction of a tailings management and water recovery business line.

AUTHOR: Editor of Mining Review Africa, Laura Cornish

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 4 2018

Weir Minerals, and its global subsidiaries, including Africa-focused Weir Minerals Africa, has grown significantly over the last 10 years – becoming the largest slurry pump supplier after acquiring the CH Warman Group in 2007 – but also emerging as a serious minerals processing solutions contender.

“Our portfolio has grown significantly over the past decade and today includes cyclones, slurry valves, mill liners, rubber lining/sheet, hoses and screening equipment,” says Weir Minerals Africa Process Director JD Singleton.

In 2014 the company added dry processing solutions to its portfolio through the acquisition of Chinese-customers American manufacturer of crushing and separation equipment Trio.

“This new addition, incorporating jaw crushers, cone crushers, grizzly and belt feeders, vertical shaft impact crushers, horizontal shaft impact crushers, conveyor sections and hoppers, further expanded our end-to-end solutions offering in the minerals processing sector,” Singleton continues.

“As a result of its extensive portfolio, Weir Minerals Africa now engages extensively with a broader range of on-site operators – including plant metallurgists, plant managers, process engineers, etc. – and consequently contributes towards enhanced process plant performance and improved recoveries. “We are in fact fully equipped to help improve and drive a mine’s bottom line.”

Integral components of Weir Minerals Africa’s success in the field are its high level in-house skills and experts.

“We have built up our process engineering expertise quite significantly to support our products and solutions and this now includes a dedicated minerals processing department which houses a wide variety of process engineers,” Weir Minerals Africa marketing director Rajen Govender outlines.

Closing the gap

On the back of the company’s strategic drive to deliver an all-encompassing and stronger minerals solutions offering, Weir Minerals in 2018 introduced a new brand and business line into its portfolio.

“Isodry will focus on process solutions for tailings and water recovery management. This additional business stream is the result of a formal agreement established with plant engineering group Andritz in September 2017 which gives us exclusive access to their skills and technology, catering specifically to the fields of tailings and water management recovery,” says Govender.

“This additional offering extends our assistance to our clients in aiding them to be more environmentally responsible and compliant which in turn reduces their operational risks and lowers their operational costs,” Singleton continues.

Weir Minerals Africa already has potential projects in the pipeline and will before long have a track record of tailings-related projects to showcase from which it can grow further in the future.

“With this new addition to our business, our end-to-end solutions offering across the entire minerals processing spectrum is complete – from upfront crushing through to end-of-the-line tailings operations. I must however emphasise that no matter the application, our ability to offer the best solution remains determined by our clients’ needs and our ability to specify the correct product for that application,” Singleton highlights.

Technology to support our products and solutions offering

Maintaining a strong position in the minerals processing field also requires that Weir Minerals Africa stays abreast of innovative engineering solutions to ensure its products deliver optimally.

In line with this, the company has incorporated condition monitoring technology into its stable through the introduction of real-time sensors.

These provide customers with operational insight into the performance and reliability of critical equipment while enabling Weir experts to provide remote monitoring, preventative maintenance and process optimisation services – all ultimately aimed at extending equipment lifespans and avoiding unplanned breakdowns.

Designed in conjunction with international software and technology experts, the custom-designed sensors can be attached to any Weir Minerals Africa product.

They track vibration trends and upload this data to the cloud which can be accessed 24/7 from across the globe on any internet-connected device.

“This technology will prevent catastrophic failures and demonstrates our evolution as a business to incorporate fourth generation digital technologies that the industrial world is quickly embracing,” Govender notes.

The sensors have already been introduced to various sites across the globe (including South Africa) and are successfully running on Weir Minerals pumps, cyclones, screens and hoses.

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