Weir Minerals plans exciting year ahead for activity in Africa

AHEAD PIC 02Grant Ramsden, regional managing director of Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East, has spoken on his company’s plans for 2021 in the wake of the pandemic and its strong sustainability vision for modern mining, minerals processing and cement industries in Africa

According to Grant Ramsden, regional managing director of Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East, the company’s successful evolution over a century and a half continues with a strong sustainability vision for the modern mining, minerals processing and the sand and aggregate industries.

“As our mining sector customers look to reduce their carbon footprint, we are engineering solutions for a future that prioritises energy efficiency and raises productivity,” said Ramsden. “With leading brands all the way from ground-engaging tools to processing equipment across the mill circuit, we have an exciting year ahead with our continuously expanding equipment range.”

Ramsden outlined that among the solutions that will raise most interest are the company’s high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs), which are more energy efficient than traditional ball mills and utilise dry processing. With most of the global mining sector having readily embraced this technology, there is still plenty of scope for its adoption in Africa. 

 “Another exciting area of opportunity for us remains our GEHO positive displacement pump range, where we continue to see substantial interest,” Ramsden commented. “These pumps represent the latest advances in hydro-transport, and will also add to the efficiencies that we can bring to mining across Africa.”

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramsden said that Weir’s Synertrex condition monitoring and smart analytics platform will also attract more attention in 2021. Developed by Weir Minerals to complement its portfolio of mining equipment, Synertrex monitors product operation and feeds data automatically to the cloud and control systems. This also allows for remote monitoring where employees or management may not have regular physical access to plant operations.

 "With our service-focused approach, we are able to become directly integrated into the customer’s operation, through having one of our own experts in the mine’s control room helping to monitor equipment and possibly even procuring the necessary spares. Synertrex has already proved itself in South Africa’s minerals sands segment, and similar interest has been expressed from other commodity miners in our region. This system can also streamline procurement by alerting customers when new spares may be needed,” said Ramsden.

Ramsden also emphasises the value in Weir's wear resistant technology (WRT), which has demonstrated increases in the life of impellers and throat bushes of Warman slurry pumps by up to 30%. These improvements significantly extend pump life and reduce total cost of ownership for customers.

As an established original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in South Africa, Weir Minerals Africa is planning further investment in upgrades and process improvements at its Isando foundry. It will also be directing resources for a technology upgrade at its Isando rubber plant, one of two local facilities contributing to the company’s range of IP-protected rubber products.

Ramsden concluded, “After a difficult 2020 for everyone, it will be exciting to be investing and expanding to assist our customers to meet their production targets. We also look forward to continuing our investment in local skills, which includes supporting 22 graduates – 90% of whom are drawn into our business after qualifying from their university studies.”

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