In 2010, a rare mineral exploration, development, and production company opened an ISR (in-situ recovery) in south Texas. The facility extracts raw minerals from a sandstone formation and ships it to a nearby processing plant, where it is refined.
In ISR mining at the site, on-site groundwater fortified with gaseous oxygen is pumped into injection wells drilled deep into sandstone. The solution dissolves minerals from the host rock. Back at the surface, the solution—with the mineral in suspension—is pumped into ion exchange columns where the mineral is stripped out of solution and “loaded” onto millions of resin beads. The resin-mineral material is then pumped into tanker trucks for shipment off site.
Located at every concentration tank is a sump that collects a combination of process water and rainwater. Most of the process water comes from the washing of “socks,” large fine-mesh cotton bags that are installed on transfer hoses to filter sand, mud and other grit out of the solution before and after it is pumped into the injection wells. This must be pumped to the wastewater system and filter any solids before pumping the threatened wastewater down to a deep disposal well for reclamation.
Until 2011 the facility used two small submersible pumps that were not up to the job. Insufficiently powered, they also had rubber wear plates and other components that failed under heavy use along with the barrage of the abrasive solids suspended in the mining solution.
BJM’s distributor, Texas Process Equipment, replaced the pumps with KZN37 Heavy-Duty Submersible Slurry Pumps. These durable KZN Series pumps are built to keep production running to save maintenance, repair, labor and downtime costs.
These 5-horsepower pumps have built-in agitators that fluidized solids into a slurry for complete pumping. The KZN37 pumps have abraision-resistant, 28% Chrome Iron (600 Brinell, 57 Rockwell C) components including agitators, wear plates and impellers to resist abrasive materials, prevent clogging, and pump like new, for longer. The KZN series pumps also have superior protection through the Class H motor insulation, double silicon carbide mechanical seals, heavy duty lip seals, and a hardened ductile iron volute. Lastly, with the top discharge and slim design, the KZN37 pumps were perfect for this application because of their portability and durability.
The KZN pumps have run flawlessly since their installation, keeping up with the demand even during heavy rainstorms and easily resisting the grit.
By early 2012 the company was using four KZN37s at the facility and was so impressed with the pumps’ performance that it had specified the KZN Series as the standard pump for the sumps in its operations.
• Heavy Duty, Abrasion-Resistant, Chrome Iron Components
• Superior Class H Motor Protection
• Top Discharge Design
• Double silicon carbide mechanical seals in a separate oilfilled seal chamber
• Mining/Coal Mining
• Hydraulic Fracking
• Mineral Processing
• Slurry or Drilling Mud Transfer
• Steel Production