HYDAC best friend at a mine site

HYDAC best friend at a mine site

HYDAC enjoys a global presence in mining through its products and systems geared for the industry.

It also has on offer project-specific design of hydraulic plant systems in accordance with global mining standards and regulations. 

Pump station, longwall hydraulics

HYDAC supplies products for oil and water filtration, pulsation damping, and condition monitoring for special applications and/or functions related to compact media processing and servicing carried out at fixed and mobile pump stations.

Extraction of raw materials

Mining raw materials by the longwall or room-and-pillar methods necessitates servicing and protection of components such as water, HFA, and hydraulic systems. In this regard HYDAC supplies: filter concepts for pressure; return line and offline filtration; filter elements stable at up to 300 bar differential pressure; valves; complete systems (offline filtration); and cylinders (longwall extraction).

Preliminary development and expansion of mining sites

HYDAC products facilitate smooth operation underground whether they be used for full section, part-face, or conventional driving. They include filters for hydraulic media and water; hydraulic accumulators; electronic measurement technology for mining; solenoids; hydraulic valves; ball valves and fluid level gauges; pipe clamps, hose, and cable mounting and component mounting; bell housings and couplings; and cylinders with special coatings for tough operation underground.

Materials handling and passenger transportation

To keep transport moving underground HYDAC supplies, amongst other things: filters for water, hydraulic, and lubrication systems; cylinders (for chassis and conveyor systems); hydraulic accumulators (monorails); and mounting technology. 

“The amount of combined and consolidated experience HYDAC has locally and globally in developing components and subsystems for the mining industry is immeasurable,” HYDAC's National Sales and Marketing Manager Peter Agius underscores.  

“HYDAC is able to develop customised solutions such as filter stations for the recovery of HFA as well as solutions for general hydraulics and water and transmission filtration, among many more.” 

He explains that as a specialist in systems and fluid service HYDAC is able to offer cleaning to complete maintenance packages and action plans for system optimisation.

“In addition to the product divisions accumulator technology, compact hydraulics, cooling systems, electronics, ball valves, and mounting technology, we offer a further focus on filtration technology using hydraulic, lubrication, and process filters.

“The name of the game here for HYDAC is continuous system optimisation in partnership with our customers and cost optimisation by means of customised system solutions. 

“And it doesn’t end there, with HYDAC always ready to reveal its flair for innovation and go the extra mile such as integrating field experience within a development process.” 

HYDAC solutions for mining applications

Integrating field experience with the development process the HYDAC way

Mr Agius explains that HYDAC cooling solutions for mining applications are designed to work in environments with high concentrations of pollutants, which are responsible for acidic or basic environments with very low or very high values of Ph. 

For example, HYDAC’s AC-M cooler, designed with a plastic housing cooling element made up of 100 per cent aluminium alloy, anti-clogging air fins, and special protective coatings, is able to increase product lifetime and reduce maintenance costs even when used in the often aggressive and corrosive environment of mine sites.  

The corrosion process for aluminium - the main material for the manufacturing of the cooling elements - is proven to be dependent on the pH and voltage potential, an interaction that is even more complex for combinations of differing aluminium alloys and or other materials. 

In this regard, HYDAC carried out several tests and experiences within both laboratory and real-world conditions on the behaviour of the corrosion process for aluminium, including the accelerated corrosion test involving exposure under controlled conditions that can be conducted in a new neutral salt spray (according to ISO 9227), or with conditions of humidity cycling and intermittent spraying of a salt solution (according to ISO 16701), or cycling seawater acidified test (according to ASTM G85-Annex 3). 

These tests were important in terms of studying the differences between coating and surface treatment and production processes. However, they were not able to describe the real ambient conditions, resulting in HYDAC integrating field experience within the development process - one instance of many.

“This bent, in conjunction with project-specific design of hydraulic plants and systems in accordance with worldwide mining standards and regulations as well as an increased focus on safe operation due to the use of explosion-protected components according to ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU, makes HYDAC a mining partner of choice,” Mr Agius says.

Mining outlook

According to IBISWorld, this industry’s major products and services are coal mining, oil and gas extraction, other metal ore mining, iron ore mining, non-metallic mineral mining, and quarrying.

Declines are projected for coal mining and oil and gas extraction in 2020-21 due to weaker demand, while revenue from iron ore mining is anticipated to increase as domestic production grows, Mr Agius points out from IBISWorld data.

Australia's mining industry delivered a 10.4 per cent share of the Australian economy in 2019-20, making it the largest economic contributor with a $202 billion GDP according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

IBISWorld research points out that its revenue for 2019-2020 was $315 billion, with annual growth from 2016 to 2021 at 8.1 per cent and anticipated at 0.1 per cent from 2016 to 2026. Profit was $95.5 billion for 2019-2020, with an annual growth rate of 25.8 per cent from 2016 to 2021.

High level of capital intensity in mining

Mr Agius highlights IBISWorld findings that the level of capital intensity is high in this industry. 

This has increased over the past five years as mining firms have invested in plants, equipment, and vehicles to increase productivity. 

For every dollar spent on labour in 2020-21, firms in the division are projected to invest an estimated $1.50 in plant, equipment and vehicles. 

Capital intensity is forecast to continue rising over the next five years as mining companies increase investment in plant and equipment to gain greater operating efficiencies. 

Activity across the mining division is expected to be moderately affected by Covid-19, the market research company points out. And of interest is that the gold mining industry is anticipated to benefit from COVID-19, with demand and gold prices rising to cement gold as a safe haven investment during periods of uncertainty.

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