Metso used the recent Bauma fair, in Munich, Germany, to showcase several new solutions, including its MDR500 pump for mill discharge applications.The MDR500 fits on a frame 1400 and is the largest frame for the MD series to benefit from an innovative pump maintenance slide base, Metso’s Director EMEA, Pumps business area, Steve Sedgwick told IM at the event, ahead of the publication of its annual feature on pumps and pipelines.In terms of routine inspection or repair, this design allows the complete bearing frame and rotating element to be removed as a unit; thus, impeller, complete gland seal component and back liner renewal can be carried out rapidly and safely. The inlet and discharge piping can remain in place, which aids health and safety.The MD series has been designed speci¬fically for mill discharge, very abrasive applications and cyclone feed duties, offering sustained efficiency and performance, on top of operational reliability and durability, according to Metso.The company says it uses only high-performance materials for its MD pumps that come with excellent resistance to abrasion and erosion. Special emphasis has also been placed on components able to withstand exceptional wear from coarse heavy solids due to the modern hydraulic design.“An oversized robust steel shaft and extra thick casings and liners are just some of the heavy-duty components equipped on our MD series pumps,” Metso said.While the MDR500 on the Metso stand came with a rubber lining, the company also provides an alternative metal lining for coarse feeds (MDM500).The pump (MDR500), which as the name implies comes with a 500 mm inlet, has a large diameter, slow-running impeller, on top of double adjustment feature ensuring both suction side and gland side impeller clearances can be set perfectly from new, and maintained throughout the wear life of the components.This specimen on show was, by far, not the largest model available, with Metso saying it can meet most flow and head requirements for the intended applications.Last year, the company introduced a new pump test rig at its Sala facility, in Sweden, equipped with a 2 MW motor that could accommodate the company’s largest mill discharge pump – the MDM650 and larger. Some of the pumps tested on this new rig have already been dispatched to a mining customer in South America.Sedgwick said the company had also sold many pumps to miners in several countries in recent years – for base metal and other operations – and was continuing to register good demand from mining companies around the world focused on gold, iron ore and copper.He said Metso had also recently made a delivery to a company in the CIS where the pump was being used in conjunction with high pressure grinding rollers in a hard-rock comminution circuit.Metso doesn’t just supply the pumps that go into these heavy-duty applications, though. It has also helped integrate the equipment into the operations they were built for by supplying rubber pipes, valves and other solutions to ensure they operate to their full ability.A case in point is Boliden’s Aitik mine, just south of Gällivare in the north-central part of Sweden, where an expansion project to take the operation from 36 Mt/y of throughput to 45 Mt/y has been going on for the past few years.This 25% increase in production – that came with a subsequent rise in the output of copper concentrate – required every part of the Aitik plant to be optimised, Metso said.Initial investigation showed if concentrate volumes were to step up with this expansion, the mine would run into capacity limitations with the existing tailings from the plant.The miner needed a proven solution fast in order to achieve its production goals. It also required one that could cope with environments where temperatures could vary from -40°C to 30°C.This is where Metso suggested a solution consisting of heavy-duty slurry pumps and rubber-lined steel pipes designed for rugged applications.The company supplied 16 km of natural rubber-lined pipes, ranging in size from DN200 to DN600, with rubber compensators and branch pipes, and the heavy-duty pumps. The pipes offer five times longer wear life compared with a typical polyethylene pipe, according to the company, and were supplied alongside rubber hoses, and rubber bends equipped with thick long-wear rubber and an “ultra-smooth surface” for low flow resistance to increase the tailing capacity.