Weir Minerals said it has secured an order for the two largest pontoon-mounted dewatering systems it has ever sold in Europe, from German mining company Dorfner for its Hirschau mine near Regensburg, Germany.

The pontoons will replace the current dewatering system at the mine, which produces kaolin, quartz sand and feldspar—materials used in the ceramics and glass production industries and also as fillers in a wide range of manufactured products.

Two systems will be installed, each featuring innovative new plastic floats, developed by engineers from Weir Minerals South Africa, along with two Warman DWU high-head dewatering pumps driven by electric motors.

Dorfner uses Weir Minerals pumps widely for recovery, transportation and milling of its products, and already has more than 50 Warman units across its operations.

Uwe Bär, project engineer for dewatering at Dorfner, said, “We have been considering upgrading the dewatering system for a number of years now but, following the heavy rains we experienced in the region in May and June this year, it is clear that upgrading the system is a priority.

“We have selected the system from Weir not only because of the excellent performance track record of the Warman slurry pumps we have used widely in the past, but also because of the availability of a complete integrated pumps and pontoon system that includes all of the necessary operator safety features.

“We are also in regular contact with Weir for maintenance of our process circuit pumps, so it will be an advantage to have a single point of contact in the unlikely event we encounter any issues with the new system.”

Tony G. Locke, managing director at Weir Minerals Europe, said, “Systems like this are a common sight in the Southern Hemisphere at the large open-pit mining operations that are common in South Africa, South America and Australia, but they are less frequently used in European mines.”

Dorfner was established in 1895 at Hirschau near Regensburg—the site of one of Germany’s biggest kaolin deposits.