Challenge Pumps


Posted on: 11/05/2017

Andy Well Gold Mine Reduces Dewatering System Downtime with Challenge Pumps NEW Weartuff™ WTX3 Vortex Mixer Tank

Right: Newly commissioned Twin WTX3 in Underground Pump Cuddy Left: Newly commissioned Twin WTX3 Portal transfer station.

In 2015 Doray Minerals - Andy Well Gold Mine purchased the first of four WTX3’s produced by Challenge Pumps. Underground Manager Oliver Keene was asked what the driver was for selecting the WTX3 Vortex Pump, his response was “we wanted to reduce the downtime associated with the previous brand of pumps used for the mine dewatering”. When asked what the greatest benefit of changing to the WTX3 units Mr. Keene said “we have seen more than double the operating life of the pump as well as significantly improved serviceability with the easy change out of the Bareshaft Pump”.

One of the first pumps to be installed was recently sent back to Challenge Pumps for refurbishment after 20 months of operation. Running on average 18-20 hours per day this is a marked improvement when compared to the 3-4 months of operation that other brands were lasting. The reduction of dewatering pump downtime has benefitted the overall operation of the mine, with increased availability of the entire dewatering system allowing Doray to focus on mining and reducing “all in” mining costs.

Andy Well has found that the availability and turnaround time of repairs has noticeably improved. This relieves pressure on operations by reducing the time critical spares are off site. Andy Well’s turnaround time has been reduced to 2-3 weeks compared to previous models taking up to 12 weeks when a gearbox required repair.  Despite the increase in operating hours, the design of the vortex mixer tank and the use of a wedge wire screen has reduced the individual pump refurbishment price by reducing the likelihood of components becoming catastrophically damaged.

Since the delivery of the first four WTX3 pumps in 2015 Andy Well has installed a further six units. The increase in operating life is 2 to 6 times longer when compared to previously installed gearbox style units. Mr Keene outlined “there has been a reduction in downtime due to pump failure, a marked decrease in pump maintenance cost, and over a 40% reduction in associated mine dewatering costs”.

Conventional Hopper Tank (Left), Double Vortex Mixer Tank (Right) after 24 hours of operation, neither of the tanks have been dumped. Note that in the conventional tank, the solids are at the level of the suction outlet in the hopper, the measuring stick shows the level of the mud within the tank. The Double Vortex Mixer Tank shows minimal solids build-up.
Double Vortex Mixer Tank Pump Rotor – 12 months of operation (Top), Conventional Hopper Tank Pump Rotor – 6 months of operation (Bottom). Note the difference in wear patterns, the top rotor has deep scoring in the rotor with areas of high wear and areas of little to no wear. The Double Vortex Mixer rotor has even wear throughout the rotor and no deep scoring of any kind. The top rotor is not repairable whereas the bottom is easily refurbished.

Due to the Success of the WTX3 the side by side configuration of the vortex mixer tank has been implemented on the WT084 now a WTX84, and the Patented Vortex Tank Technology is now standard on all new units across the Weartuff™ range.

For more information download the WTX3 Brochure and Data Sheet Here

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