Weir Minerals’ materials technology keeps the Warman® MCR® slurry pump at the forefront of innovation and elastomer development

by PNG Business News - September 06, 2022

 

Weir Minerals rubber technology has long been a hallmark of its offering to the mining and minerals processing industry. The Warman® MCR® slurry pump is a case in point; often utilised in applications where competitors use metal-lined pumps, Weir Minerals continues to push the boundaries of what rubber is capable of in mill circuit applications.

Weir Minerals has the ability to formulate, mix and develop proprietary rubber compounds with the properties required to achieve a high level of wear resistance in mill circuit applications, in which there’s a broad particle-size distribution, and particles are often hard and angular.

R&D is an important focus for Weir Minerals and has been integral to its ability to remain at the forefront of innovation in the mining and minerals processing industry. Investing in R&D is central to its strategy and at the heart of its commitment to innovative engineering.

Weir Minerals works closely with its customers to understand their specific challenges and problems and it develops solutions to improve their operations. It’s an on-going process, born out of a commitment to make mining more sustainable, efficient and safer. 

The Warman® MCR® slurry pump, as a case in point, is underpinned by years of R&D, conducted by dedicated teams of engineers, scientists and product experts – this is what it requires to create a market-leading product.

R55® rubber – Weir Minerals’ standard for rubber wear lining

The Warman® MCR® pump utilises a unique rubber compound known as R55® rubber; its physical properties give it a high resistance to tearing and cuts, which means it’s capable of performing well in applications where competitors generally use metal liners. R55® is the standard rubber utilised to line Warman® MCR® slurry pumps. 

The key to formulating a rubber with high tear and cut resistance lies, in part, in the reinforcement particles that are added. These filler particles have varying properties, but, generally speaking, there’s a correlation between how well the particles are dispersed and the relative wear resistance of the final product. 

Armachrome® highly wear-resistant overlay material

Weir Minerals is increasing utilising Armachrome® - a highly wear-resistant overlay material– in mill circuit applications. It’s one of the most wear-resistant materials commercially available and can be added to pump throatbushes, volute liners and, most recently, impellers.

Armachrome® wear parts provide enhanced, extended wear life and localised wear performance.  For example, if there is only the need to improve wear performance around the eye, rather than applying Armachrome® material to the whole throatbush, Weir Minerals has the capabilities to locate the higher wearing material only in the target section experiencing high wear.

Armachrome® wear parts is a bespoke Weir Minerals solution and extensive field results have been extremely positive. For instance, in oil sands operations, wear resistance has been significantly improved relative to white iron. Similarly, in Warman® MC pumps, the field results have been equally as promising.    

As Weir Minerals continues to strive to make mining smarter, efficient and sustainable, R&D investment will play a crucial role in the development of advanced wear materials that help to achieve these objectives. Increasingly, customers are turning to Weir Minerals to help them reduce their carbon footprint because they know it has market-leading materials technology that extend wear life and improve efficiency.

Click here to discuss how Weir Minerals’ materials technology optimises Warman® MCR® slurry pumps.



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PNG Business News - May 24, 2021

Weir Minerals announces major order of Enduron® HPGR with IAMGOLD

Weir Minerals is proud to announce another major order of Enduron® HPGR in Gold application with our valued Customer IAMGOLD. An Enduron® HPGR with rolls measuring 2.4 m x 2.4 m (length : diameter) will be installed at IAMGOLD's Côté Gold Project. This will be the largest HPGR in Canada and the largest in the world in a gold hard rock application. Weir Minerals’ Enduron® HPGR unique design is perfectly suited to IAMGOLD’s Côté Gold operations to achieve industry-leading particle size reduction and with the lowest total operating costs. Enduron® HPGR is the market proven HPGR with the mechanical design to support efficient and durable skewing thanks to its unique bearing arrangement and control philosophy Enduron® HPGR has a unique roll diameter-width ratio which maximizes throughput at the desired product grind Enduron® HPGR self-adjusting cheek plates provide equal sealing distance as flanges at minimum costs Enduron® HPGR is the market leader in large format, high tonnage hard rock HPGR Tim Lundquist, HPGR Regional Sales Manager North America: “Our Enduron® HPGR design will create energy savings of up to 40% compared to an equivalent SABC comminution circuit, while also significantly reducing the need for downstream grinding media.  This power and grinding media savings will optimize total ownership cost and also account for a significant reduction in carbon emissions”. Weir Minerals prides itself in being close to its customers at all times. Our Weir Minerals Canada team and purpose-built facilities will be providing full HPGR service for the Côté Gold operations. For more information about Enduron® HPGR please visit enduronhpgr.weir

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PNG Business News - July 01, 2021

Weir Minerals Launches Multiflo® Mudflorm Submersible Pump for Large Particle Handling 

Weir Minerals, global leader in the provision of mill circuit technology, dewatering solutions and services, has launched the new Multiflo® MudfloTM hydraulic submersible slurry pump. Engineered for abrasive applications and large particle handling, the Multiflo® MudfloTM pump features a hydraulically driven wet-end specifically designed to efficiently and safely reprocess and relocate tailings ponds, maintain water retention dams and manage slimes and sludge ponds. The innovative solution combines the Warman® MGS pump-end, Multiflo® CB32 hydraulic cutters and ESCO® excavation teeth to provide efficient pumping of highly charged and abrasive slurries. Weir Minerals' unique Ultrachrome® A05 chrome alloy impeller ensures high wear resistance and the specially engineered suction strainer minimises the risk of clogging by preventing large solids & debris  from entering the pump. Drawing on decades of Warman® pump design experience, the Multiflo® Mudflo™ pump is capable of pumping between 150 and 1,200m3/h, up to 82m head. The Multiflo® CB32 hydraulic cutters feature market-leading ESCO® Ultralok® tooth system to prevent premature breakage, avoid tooth loss and protect the integral locking system to ensure the continuous operation of the pump. Engineered by the Weir Minerals dewatering pump experts in Australia, it is available for global customers from July 2021. “The Multiflo brand is synonymous with high quality and long-lasting equipment. In designing the Mudflo pump, our dewatering experts drew from the very best Multiflo, Warman and ESCO technology and used advanced hydraulics to create an innovative and cost-effective new solution for mine dredging applications,” Cameron Murphy, Director of Dewatering Weir Minerals APAC said. Weir Minerals understands that success is built from enduring partnerships based on close collaboration and a mutual commitment to safety and technical excellence.  “It is not uncommon for sites to use a combination of pumps, shovels, excavators and trucks for dredging applications. When one of our long-time partners in Indonesia contacted us about developing a custom solution for the slurry build-up in their sumps, we knew we could provide a better solution,” Geoff Way, Weir Minerals Dewatering Specialist said. “We’re problem solvers. We considered our customer’s pain points and engineered a new solution to efficiently and safely manage their site processes,” he said. The Multiflo® MudfloTM pump can also be retrofitted to competitor OEM equipment; the quick-hitch plate attachment ensures convenient installation and removal from hydraulic excavators.   The Multiflo® Mudflo™ pump can be assembled on land, eliminating the safety risks associated with assembling pumps over water. Furthermore, the new hydraulic hose management system reduces the risk of hose entanglement and trip hazards, all the while providing a reliable hose bend radius to ensure smooth oil flow. The Multiflo® MudfloTM pump will be available globally from July 2021. Discover more at https://info.global.weir/mudflo

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PNG Business News - May 11, 2021

New Report Identifies Major Carbon Reduction Opportunities in Global Mining

  New analysis lays out the scale of the mining industry’s energy use and identifies ways it can be reduced using currently available technologies Materials such as copper, lithium and nickel play an essential role in the technologies like electric vehicles and renewables that will help the world meet its decarbonisation targets As demand for these metals increases, the mining industry must itself become more efficient and environmentally sustainable     The global mining industry must move away from legacy systems and processes if it is to meet the challenge of decarbonisation, according to a new report released today which calculates mining’s share of global energy consumption and identifies ways the industry can aid the transition to net zero emissions needed to limit temperatures in line with the Paris Agreement. The report, commissioned by the Weir Group plc, analyses mine energy data from over 40 published studies to give a comprehensive understanding of where energy is consumed in mining and minerals processing. It shows that the total amount of power used by the mining industry – which plays an essential role providing the metals used at the heart of the modern economy – is equal to c.3.5% of global energy use. The metals produced by mining are critical for enabling the global transition to low-carbon infrastructure. But without action, energy use in mining itself is set to trend higher in the coming years as demand increases for metals like copper, nickel and zinc. The report suggests there are technologies available today that could make a significant difference to this trend.  For example, it highlights that comminution – i.e. crushing and grinding processes – is the single biggest user of energy at mine sites, typically accounting for 25% of mining’s final energy consumption. This is equivalent to the power used by 221 million typical UK homes, or c.1% of total consumption globally. Comminution is therefore a natural target for the most impactful energy savings opportunities. Small improvements in comminution technologies can lead to relatively large savings in both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, a 5% incremental improvement in energy efficiency across comminution could result in greenhouse gas emissions reductions of more than 30m tonnes of CO2-e. The replacement of traditional comminution equipment with new grinding technology also reduces indirect emissions in the mining value chain, for example by removing the need for the manufacture of emission-intensive steel grinding balls. Of the remaining energy consumption by the mining industry, diesel in varied forms of mobile equipment accounts for 46%, electricity in mining (ventilation) 15% and “other electricity” 14%. Other significant opportunities identified by the report for reducing mining’s energy consumption include optimisation, big data and artificial intelligence. In addition, if zero emissions energy sources are deployed for mining equipment – e.g., renewable energy, energy storage and alternative fuels – then the industry may well be able to achieve zero emissions, leaving a relatively small role for offsets and carbon credits to play. The report comes as the mining industry is under ever-greater pressure to produce essential minerals that support some of the biggest global structural trends, from population growth to urbanisation and decarbonisation. Copper, nickel, steel and lithium are core components of electricity transmission and storage, electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure. The move to a decarbonised economy will result in increased primary consumption of these mined commodities, even after factoring for recycling, so it is important that mining itself becomes more sustainable. Download the independent Mining Energy Consumption 2021 report here: www.energysavingsinmining.com Commenting, Weir Group Chief Executive Jon Stanton said: “The mining industry is central to economic development globally, with critical minerals enabling the low-carbon transition required in the rest of the economy. But the environment in which it will operate in future will be very different from the past, requiring comprehensive change and investment. In short: mining needs to become more sustainable and efficient if it is to provide essential resources the world needs for decarbonisation while reducing its own environmental impact.This report is an important contribution to that debate which we hope will spark thoughtful conversations around the world on the way forward.” Alison Keogh, Chief Executive of the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution, said: “This report highlights both a challenge and an opportunity to revitalize cross-industry discussion and actions on decarbonisation and ESG solutions. We invite industry leaders to actively contribute and collaborate through mining-vendor-research partnerships and share knowledge. Together, we can accelerate improved energy, emissions and water footprint across industry faster.” Ricardo Garib, Weir Minerals Divisional President commented: “Weir Minerals is focused on making mining more efficient and sustainable by leading technology change in the industry. Our Enduron HPGRs are increasingly replacing conventional milling systems in comminution (crushing, screening and grinding) circuits because of their substantially lower energy consumption, finer rock reduction requiring less water downstream and potential for significant total cost of ownership reductions.” Stuart Hayton, Managing Director of Weir Minerals Netherlands, where the Enduron® HPGRs are designed and manufactured, added: “Not only do Enduron HPGRs require as much as 40% less energy than traditional alternatives, their wearable components last much longer and the maintenance time required to replace worn out parts is significantly lower. The estimated carbon saving of each Enduron HPGR in operation is equivalent to taking more than 3,600 petrol fuelled cars off the roads each year.” Notes: The report quantifies energy use in five commodities: copper, gold, iron ore, nickel and lithium. Bringing together mine energy use data from more than 40 published studies (each of which references dozens more studies) from 2007 to 2020 into a single narrative, the report aims to build a more comprehensive understanding of energy use in the mining industry. Using the current production rates of the commodities in question, and the energy intensities for each of the commodities, a total of 1,68 EJ/a (1,680,000,000,000,000,000 joules per year) has been calculated. This is approximately 0.5% of total final energy consumption globally. Published information indicates that the entire mining industry consumes approximately 12 EJ per year – or 3.5% of total final energy consumption globally. Assuming that present trends continue, there will be 250m electric vehicles on the road by 2030. To meet this demand, production of cobalt, lithium, graphite and nickel will need to be scaled up significantly. Current projections show that the current rate of decarbonisation globally is far below what is required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. A sustained decarbonisation rate of up to 7% per year, year on year should be sufficient to achieve the goal of a temperature increase of well below 2°C by 2100. For the mining industry, there are multiple ways to achieve decarbonisation including energy efficiency and fuel/energy switching. Many of these opportunities are starting to be explored by both the mining companies and the mining services providers, who see decarbonisation and energy reduction as a key way to reduce exposure to the risks of climate change.


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Agriculture

Paul Oeka - September 29, 2022

AGRICULTURE HAS HUGE ECONOMIC POTENTIAL

Photo credit: Oxford Business Group The creation of the new ministries by the current government for both major agricultural commodities, Coffee and Oil Palm is a huge step forward in achieving the agriculture sectors economic potential. For the past years the agricultural sector had not been fully utilized by consecutive governments as the focus had mostly been centered on the extractive industry and Mining & Petroleum sector. This important and vital sector is eventually and currently being recognized as an economic pillar to boost the state coffers. Prime Minister Hon. James Marape said the allocation and restructure of the four newly created ministries concentrating on Horticulture (Fresh produce), Coffee, Oil Palm, and Livestock to the agricultural sector is a complete paradigm shift to get agriculture moving again. The focus of the Marape Government on ‘Taking Back PNG’ is deeply rooted and aligned with the mechanisms and functions of the agricultural sector as most of the country’s population are situated in rural settings and largely depend on subsistence agriculture to sustain themselves. Coffee, Cocoa, Oil palm and Fresh produce have been a mainstay that this rural population rely on for income for so many years. As far as many Papua new Guineans can recall and relate, Agriculture has always been the foundation and backbone of the country and it can surely drive the economy forward. Although the agricultural does not match in monetary turnovers for the country, it is an economic foundation and is here to stay. In comparison over monetary benefits with other sectors, Agriculture had not been performing to expectation due to so many underlying issues concerned and faced with the value chain of agricultural commodities prompting a decline in agricultural activities over the years. The Prime Minister said it was no secret that agriculture had declined since independence in 1975, and the current allocation of the four agricultural ministries was to revive the sector for it to be a major income generator for PNG. PM Marape said this when explaining the concept and rationale for his allocation of four ministries to the agricultural sector. This direction by the Marape/Rosso Government to emphasize more on agriculture will boost agricultural activities in and around the country. Mostly the sector had not been given proper recognition for decades and had been lacking government intervention from past successive governments. Now with the current Government’s backing, the respective agricultural ministries and its industries are expected to flourish dramatically and are likely to bring more benefits. The new ministries will also empower provinces that currently do not have mining and petroleum resources. This will certainly build stronger local economic activities for future generations. “We want to see import replacement and more exports within the agriculture sector, which is why we have allocated four separate ministries to agriculture,” PM Marape said. The recognition of this agricultural industries will also ease and slowdown rural-urban drift. The number of people migrating from rural areas into towns and cities in search for better opportunities have risen in the past couple of years due to inequality in the distribution of wealth and lack of government services. Thus, the governments focus on agriculture will encourage many unemployed Papua New Guineans living in urban areas to go back to their home Provinces or villages and be self-reliant. As economic opportunities arise in rural areas from vibrant and innovative policy interventions within these newly created agricultural ministries, it will attract many to contribute meaningfully and be productive on their own customary land. Prime Minister Marape said over the last three years prior to the creation of the new agricultural ministries, his government has given millions of kina to support agriculture through price and freight subsidies and SME support. “We are now targeting specific commodities through the establishment of the four ministries. Over the next term of government, we will give specific production targets for Coffee, Oil Palm and all other major agricultural Commodities” he said. The government also plans to revive and rehabilitate once thriving agricultural hubs in the country such as Cattle farming in the Central Province and the Coffee plantations of the Highlands region that produced quality organic Coffee and grew the fledgling industry pre-independence in the 1960’s.   Now that the agricultural sector has been categorized into four industries, there will be room for much improvement in economic activity within the agricultural sector as people will start contributing meaningfully to the economy.

Business

Paul Oeka - September 28, 2022

TREASURER WANTS REVIEW OF ELECTION FUNDS

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey is dismayed at how the 2022 National Elections were conducted and is now looking forward to a complete review of the allocated funds that were spent on the elections. Ling-Stuckey recently stated in parliament that the government had allocated and funded enough money for the election process to be conducted this year. “We provided a further K50 million to cover the costs for the 2022 election, bringing the total funding for the election to nearly double the level of expenditure in the 2017 national elections. There was enough money to support a much better election this year, so I look forward to the proposed parliamentary committee examinations of what went wrong and what can be done better” he said. The Treasurer also expressed concern that there was a decrease in the public servants’ salaries. He explained that “Once again there is a salary cost overrun. This is K201 million much lower than in previous years, and out of this, over 70 percent is related to teacher wage overruns. We contributed to bring this area under control. After no pay increases during the latest part of the Covid-19 crisis, it is now time to start increasing some salary payments”. “There is also the need to provide additional funding for the seven new districts that have been created and K3 million each has been provided. There are also new members in existing electorates, and it is appropriate that they be given some funds for commencing programs through to the end of the year. For equity reasons all districts and provinces needed to benefit the same so an additional 2 million per district and province have been allocated bringing the funding back to 10 million per districts and provinces” he said. Meanwhile there was an announcement on Thursday last week that the Department of personnel management, Treasury and Finance are working together to ensure that there will be a three percent pay increment in the salary of public servants. This pay increment is to be adjusted and effective by December this year, the welcoming news for public servants was confirmed by the Secretary of the Department of Personnel Management, Taies Sansan.

Commentary

PNG Business News - September 28, 2022

PNG’s minimum wage

Commentary by Stephen Howes, Kingtau Mambon and Kelly Samof The urban minimum wage has been an important part of Papua New Guinea’s economic history. In the last few years before independence (in 1975), it was greatly increased. In the decade or so after independence, it was widely regarded as too high. In 1992, it was slashed, merged with the rural minimum, and hardly increased again for more than a decade. We can compare the minimum wage in PNG today with other Asia and Pacific developing countries using International Labour Organization (ILO) data. As Figure 1 shows, PNG’s minimum wage is 18% below the average of the 19 countries shown if the market exchange rate is used to compare minimum wages. It is 37% below the average if differences in cost of living are also taken into account (with conversions made on the basis not of market exchange rates but so-called purchasing power parities or PPPs). The greater difference in terms of PPPs reflects PNG’s relatively high cost of living. Of the countries shown, only Samoa and Kiribati have a lower minimum wage than PNG when a PPP comparison is made. This is very different to the past. Raymond Goodman, Charles Lepani and David Morawetz in their 1985 report The economy of Papua New Guinea compared minimum wages in PNG with a subset of the countries above back in 1978. Then, the PNG minimum wage was about twice as big or more than the other comparators. Today (using market exchange rates, and the earlier authors do), PNG comes in the middle of the pack, as Figure 2 shows. So far, we have shown that around the time of independence minimum wages were very high in PNG by international standards, and that they no longer are. Figure 3 shows how this change came about – also, for interest, comparing trends in PNG with those in Australia. Both the PNG and Australian weekly minimum wages are shown in Figure 3 measured in Australian dollars. The PNG minimum wage is converted into Australian dollars using the current exchange rate. Both wages are then adjusted for inflation and expressed in 2021 prices. The two series follow diametrically opposed paths. The Australian minimum wage fell with the high inflation of the 1970s and industrial relations reforms of the 1980s, and by the early 1990s was little more than half its value in the 1970s. It then increased in the late 1990s and 2000s during the resource boom, and has continued to increase. Adjusting for inflation, it is now almost back to where it was in the early 1970s. The PNG minimum wage does the opposite. It increased in the 1970s and was then held stable due to indexation, until the big bang reforms of 1992. Adjusted for inflation, PNG’s minimum wage continued to fall until 2004. There have since been some significant increases, but today PNG’s minimum wage is only about one-third of its value at independence, and below its value even in 1972, which is when the steep minimum wage increases began. The Australian minimum wage has always been significantly higher than the PNG one, but the ratio has changed a lot over time. The lowest that ratio has ever been is 2.2 in 1986, the highest 45 in 2004. The gap between the two wages is much higher now than at independence: the ratio of the Australian to the PNG minimum wage was 14.5 in 2021, compared to only 3.2 at independence (1975). This reflects PNG’s 1992 deregulation, and the faster growth in the Australian economy, which has enabled an increase in the Australian minimum wage. The solution to low wages in PNG is not necessarily to increase the minimum. In some sectors, where there is a lot of international competition, a higher minimum wage might lead to job losses. For example, in tuna processing, one of PNG’s main competitors is the Philippines. From Figure 1, we can see that PNG’s minimum wage is lower than the Philippines' on the basis of PPPs, but actually higher on the basis of market exchange rates. While the former is what matters for the welfare of workers, the latter is what matters for international competitiveness. Whether PNG’s minimum wage should be increased will require a lot more analysis. The point of this blog is simply that PNG’s minimum wage does not look high any more by international comparisons, as it has fallen a lot since independence. PNG is often described as a high-cost economy, and this is a fair description. However, with regards to unskilled labour, it is no longer a high-wage economy.   Data note: The PNG Economic Database provides the weekly minimum wage of PNG going back to 1972, and the PGK-AUD exchange rate. Wikipedia provides the Australian weekly minimum wage data (hourly and weekly, on the assumption of a 38-hour week) starting from 1966. The Australian CPI is from the Australian aid tracker. There are some years where Australian minimum wage rates change more than once in a year. For such cases, we took the average as annual minimum wage rate. The data for Asia-Pacific comparisons are from the International Labour Organization and the World Bank. The different frequencies of minimum wages for each country in 2019 in the ILO’s report are adjusted to convert to weekly rates. World Bank data is used to obtain market exchange rates and PPP conversion factors. For the Goodman, et al., data go to Table 3.6 on p.61 in their report.\ Disclosure: This research was undertaken with the support of the ANU-UPNG Partnership, an initiative of the PNG-Australia Partnership, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The views are those of the authors only. This article appeared first on Devpolicy Blog (devpolicy.org), from the Development Policy Centre at The Australian National University. Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre and Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy, at The Australian National University. Kingtau Mambon is currently undertaking a Master of International and Development Economics at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, for which he was awarded a scholarship through the ANU-UPNG Partnership. Kelly Samof is a lecturer in economics at the School of Business and Public Policy, University of Papua New Guinea.

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