Copper mining involves working with some of the harshest materials in the world. As a result, mining companies must carefully monitor wear of their slurry pumps and schedule frequent shutdowns to replace worn parts. The cost of this maintenance goes far beyond just the price of parts; downtime and lost revenue can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
KSB’s subsidiary, GIW Industries Inc., has produced success at a South American copper mine.The GIW® Minerals product solution quadrupled pump wear life and created dramatic savings for the mine’s tailing pumping operations. The South American company had struggled for years to reduce maintenance downtime in its tailings operations.
Tailings—the material left over after the valuable metal has been extracted—consist of very fine particles that are highly abrasive in slurry. The material was wearing out pumps more quickly than other equipment in the tailings line, increasing the frequency of downtime.
They were having such severe wear that they were repairing the tailings pumps every 400 to 450 hours.
When considering replacement parts, manpower, and revenue lost due to downtime, the costs the copper mine was facing on a regular basis were staggering. They desperately needed a solution for more efficient operations.
GIW offered the South American copper mine the answer. An LSA centrifugal slurry pump was installed in a tailings booster application where GIW’s exclusive Enduraclad™ material was applied to the new suction liner.
With the application of this new material, the mining company has been able to extend wear life up to 2,000 hours and also improved wear life of other related pump parts. This success comes from years of hard work and innovation from GIW’s team of hydraulic and metallurgical engineers.
When Enduraclad made its debut in 2009, its uses were limited. It was only applied to suction liners and increased wear life up to three times. But since then, its capabilities have expanded to allow coating on other essential parts and enables it to provide even greater longevity for GIW pumps.
Although Enduraclad-bonded parts might be more expensive, they are well worth the price. They will cost more than uncoated parts, such as suction liners, buy end-users save on costs by using fewer parts, reducing maintenance costs, and not suffering the downtime revenue loss. To remove and replace the parts on one of these pumps requires two to four people working with tools and lifting devices for 6 to 8 hours. So the longer a company can keep the pump running with nobody touching it, the more operational costs they will save.
Economy is just one of the things GIW values and tries to deliver to its customers. Users are seeking partners concerned with their best interest, who are not just developing these really specialized materials and processes and charging higher prices. GIW is continually looking for ways to reduce the cost of materials to provide a product that serves customers’ needs and fits their budgets.
GIW is constantly looking at new materials and processes that can improve pump wear life for customers like the South American copper mine. Metallurgical experts are already testing new cladding materials that will last even longer than the current ones, and there may be even greater improvements in the future with enhanced Enduraclad material. GIW believes solutions that add value to their products will meet and exceed their customers’ expectations for continuous improvement. ◆
Ronnie Willis is senior product manager of new materials at GIW Industries, Inc., a full subsidiary of KSB. Through the GIW® Minerals product brand, KSB strives to be an innovative partner that provides you with the best and longest wearing slurry solutions. We are your partner, today and in the future. For more information, visit

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