Watson-Marlow Pumps Used for Fluorspar Mining in Britain
In early 2013, Watson-Marlow Pumps Group supplied 21 positive displacement pumps to British Fluorspar Ltd, the UK’s sole fluorspar producer. Acid grade fluorspar (fluorite) is a relatively rare industrial mineral. The Watson-Marlow pumps, which include 12 new Qdos no-valve metering pumps, are vital to the mine’s production of 60,000 tons of fluorite every year.
The British Fluorspar Ltd. mine re-opened in May 2012 after being closed for 18 months. After consulting with an external advisor, the company chose to utilize peristaltic pumps in the mine’s new operations. Peristaltic pumps offer efficient, reliable, precise, low maintenance, clean and user-friendly performance.
"We knew about the peristaltic concept but in all honesty never had the financial backing to make the change,” says Mr Large. “However, with the new investment we were able to take a look at the market and soon realized that Watson-Marlow were the people to approach.”
Watson-Marlow supplied the fluorspar mine with several pump types including: 12 Qdos 30 universal pumps offering flow rates from 0.1 to 500 ml/min, eight 520UN/REL process pumps offering flow rates to 3550 ml/min and one 620UN/RE with flow rates from 0.004 to 18 litre/min. In the 620 pump, a probe is used to control the dosing in line with pH fluctuations.
The Qdos 30 product range is specifically designed for chemical metering applications, able to accurately dose chemicals without the need for any valves or ancillary equipment. This lowers total cost of ownership for the pumps to be less than that of a typical solenoid or stepper-driven diaphragm pump.
“We first used the pumps in March 2013 and have been really pleased with their performance,” says Mr Large. “At last we have equipment befitting a business such as ours. I must also add that the back-up and response from Watson-Marlow has been excellent throughout the entire process.”
Today, all 21 Watson-Marlow pumps are successfully deployed in the floatation process at British Fluorspar.Chemical reagents including methyl isobutyl carbinol, sodium isopropyl xanthate, sodium carbonate, sodium sulphide, caustic soda pearl and sodium silicate are pumped up from mixing tanks into the head tank, from where they follow plastic pipes down into flotation.