Three DMS plants for Alrosa

DRA received a $2 million order from the Russian diamond miner Alrosa for three modular DMS plants for alluvial mining operations in the Republic of Yakutia in northern Siberia, near the Anabar River. The first modular plant was shipped in December last year and the remaining two in February 2007.

The 55-65 t/h capacity plants were designed to be compact enough to fit into open top containers while still allowing ease of access for maintenance. The logistics of the project were difficult: the plants were shipped to St Petersburg, railed to Urkutsk, 6,500 km to the east, then trucked north along frozen rivers into the Arctic Circle. Here they will be setup on site using local labour under DRA supervision via a Russian interpreter.

Operations in this region are restricted to about 100 days a year in summer, due to winter temperatures of –50°C or below. Even in midsummer, temperatures may stay below –10°C. Such conditions require low temperature lubricants and special conveyor belting, cabling and switchgear. Plug in cables are used to the power supply to avoid making cable connections onsite. In winter, with the plant shut down, equipment liable to get damaged in the extreme cold is removed and placed in relatively warm storage.

This is DRA’s third venture in the area which started with a single 50 t/h DMS plant at Estok in 2004. It was followed a year later by the supply of two 55-65 t/h units at a Kimberlite pipe operation at Aykhal as a replacement for part of the jig section at the existing plant and underlines DRA’s ability to operate successfully in the most adverse environments.