As the mining industry is faced with depressed commodities prices and rising operating costs, they are looking for solutions to improve their efficiencies and lower their overall spend.
A leading polymetallic mining company in Peru requested we help them find a better solution for their horizontal vacuum belts used in processing tailings (mine waste). This mine has more than doubled in size within the last 5 years, from processing 10,000 TPD to 24,000 TPD. Finding the most efficient filter media is critical to their operation and achieving output goals.
Finding the right product solution is half the challenge of servicing this customer. The other challenge is merely reaching the mine site to provide them technical support. This mine sits at 7,000 feet above sea level. While only 63 km from the Pan-American Highway, the drive takes over 3 hours due to the complex road conditions and multiple safety checks in place. Our sales team must also complete a physical and background check before receiving authorization to visit the mine.
View of the mine site’s trailing operations
Filtration Group Separation & De-Watering drew upon the experience of our South Africa Operations and supplied them with several needle felt belts for trial. After running 7 belts to date, our belt life has been on par with their current supplier. However, the real advantages were found in the performance results. The Filtration Group Separation & De-Watering belts develop a thicker cake, enabling the mine to process 25% more tonnage per hour. The cake moisture was reduced by 1%, reducing hauling costs and producing a drier, more stable product. Startup time to achieve desired tonnage and moisture was also reduced from 12 hours from the competitor’s belts to only 5 minutes. In addition, we provide a more competitive price, building a strong case for the mine to move all of their belt business to us.
Curt Carstens, Sales Director – Latin America and Claudio Baldeon, FG S&D Representative in Peru, on the drive up to the mine site
This positive trial experience has also reaped additional rewards. They have opened up trials to us for their disc filter bags used in concentrate processing. This mining group has 3 other mines within their division, and they have referred us to their key decision makers to begin developing business with them.
By Curt Castens, Sales Director – Latin America