Specialised Pumping Equipment for the World’s Mines

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

In the mining industry, everyone knows how important specialised pumping equipment is to keep operations up and running. Just as important as the equipment to manage dewatering is the strength that comes from working with a highly experienced company that has the skills, support, service and available equipment to ensure there is as little downtime on mine sites as possible.

Providing hire pumps to the mining industry in Queensland and New South Wales, Legra Engineering Pty Ltd – headquartered in Mackay, Qld, with branches in Singleton, NSW, and St. Louis, Missouri in the United States – has remained dedicated to supplying and servicing the needs of the burgeoning mining industry worldwide for nearly 30 years.

Established in 1984, Legra Engineering was created following the successful development of a Blasthole Dewatering Pump Unit for the Coal Fields in Central Queensland. Within a few years, the company expanded its operations, and began exporting specialised pumping products to the United States, Chile and South Africa in 1989/1990, and – after conducting a detailed assessment of the American market – Legra Engineering decided to introduce additional models to better serve the needs of the overseas market. In 1995, Legra opened its branch in St. Louis, which has dispatched pumps throughout North and South America, and all the way to Russia and Europe.

Today, the company has pumping products in many of the world’s major mining operations. “We’re a specialist pumping manufacturer who deals with specialist dewatering needs, tailored to the client’s requirements,” says Chris Lorraway, Operations Manager for Legra. “We have pumps in South Africa, Indonesia, Asia, all the way through to Russia, North and South America, and Australia. Additionally other markets are growing; South Africa and Indonesia in particular have a high demand for the Highwall Pump.”

Legra Engineering has kept pace with the ongoing demand for its specialised pumping equipment, and has increased its operation over the years through innovation and large, state of the art facilities and supply/service hubs. Key expansion has included the spacious workshop in Mackay in Central Queensland. In addition to having fully computerised drawing facilities and highly skilled design and production personnel to maintain a consistent build and to implement improvements, Legra Engineering’s departments include the machine shop, fabrication plant, assembly section, hydraulics shop, and test facilities. The company’s employees – a combination of seasoned veterans and enthusiastic young professionals – are dedicated to ongoing research and development and providing the world’s mining operations with the latest upgrades to existing products, and the latest in pump equipment.

Although the company’s core business model is related to mine pumping, Legra Engineering also conducts other tasks, such as jobbing work and the construction of miscellaneous equipment for a variety of uses. In 1998, the company established Legra Mining Services (LMS), which was created to provide clients with a flexible workforce of qualified, highly experienced personnel for the mining industry. Today, LMS has evolved into a key supplier of skilled temporary labour hire to the CQ mines, supplying production operators, tradesmen, fitters and maintenance staff, experienced pump crews and technical personnel in the Bowen Basin Coal Fields in Central Queensland. As an industry-focused supplier of top talent in the mining industry, LMS is diligent about seeking trained and ambitious persons for quality positions in these areas.

With unnecessary downtime costing mining operations big dollars, Legra Engineering has earned a reputation over the years for its high quality of professional support. Serving a number of major companies such as BMA, Xstrata, Anglo, Rio Tinto, Peabody, Leighton Contracting, McMahon, and John Holland, Legra’s support is second to none. “Predominantly, the mines will buy the equipment, and they do all the minor repairs; for any larger technical repairs that are needed, we will come and service those issues quickly and professionally,” says Mr Lorraway. With trained, field-experienced technicians operating out of Central Queensland and the Hunter Valley, Legra Engineering is ready and able to support the full range of its many products. In addition, fully-equipped service vehicles ensure that, in most cases, problems are assessed and repaired usually in just one visit, ensuring mining operations are up and running as soon as possible. In the United States, the company’s Missouri branch supplies full support to the expansive range of Legra Blasthole Pumps, and is able to provide technical assistance for all other Legra Products. “We’ve got a field service division that services the equipment,” says Mr Lorraway, “and in America, Legra Engineering service agents travel from Venezuela to Russia to support the Legra product range.”

To better service the dewatering needs of many of the world’s mines, Legra has a substantial fleet of hire pumps available, along with hire/buy options. Mounted on NPS Isuzu Trucks, Blasthole Pumps are priced on a daily basis, while Highwall Pumps are hired on a daily price plus usage rate, structured according to the customer’s hire period. Available at both the Queensland and New South Wales branches, Legra provides HW6000 and HW6000 Boosters through its hire fleet, along with Model 200 Blasthole Pumps. From Legra’s American branch, the company has a Model 140 for hire. Powered by a stationary engine, the Model 140 can easily be mounted on a flat bed pick-up.

Known for supplying specialist pumping equipment, Legra’s products are used in a range of mining applications – from open cut mine sites, to underground dewatering, to mining and quarry operations which call on Legra to supply them with blasthole pumps. “When we go to commission the machine, we give onsite training to the personnel who are going to use them,” says Mr Lorraway.

Legra’s product range includes Legra Highwall Pumps, Legra Blasthole Pumps, and a wide range of available accessories, all developed to meet the requirements of the company’s many clients. Many products have been purpose-designed specifically to meet the needs of the world’s mining and explosives industries, and the company’s extensive expertise in hydraulics has enabled Legra to produce and develop bespoke products for some customers. “If you have an application that requires a specific product developed, Legra may be able to find the solution.”

The company’s range of Highwall Pumps is designed and built with the main frame/power pack situated on top of the highwall edge, with the wet-end lowered over the pit wall and into the water accumulation on the pit floor. The advantages to this design over conventional pumps are that they can be mobilised and demobilised quickly with minimum labour, and have the pump delivery hose positioned in place with the wet-end, with the bulk of the pump unit remaining clear of mining operations. With safety top of mind, Legra’s Poly Pipe Reelers are fully self-contained skid units, which makes them ideal for positioning over a Highwall while keeping the operator safe from harm. A full range of pumps and accessories, along with photos and specifications, is available at the Legra Engineering website at www.legra.com.au.

In particular, Legra is experiencing unprecedented demand for its Highwall Pumps in the Australian Mining Pits, and is also manufacturing these pumps for Indonesia and South Africa markets. These pumps will be industry standard in the open cut mining industry world wide, and Legra is poised to take full advantage of this demand.

Truly a specialist provider for a high-pressure and time-critical industry, Legra Engineering’s top quality products, service, and support help keep the world’s mines running smoothly.

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February 27, 2020, 3:00 AM AEDT

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