Tag Archives: diamond mining

TOMRA Mining complete diamond solution attracts interest of operations

The priority at the top of the list of every diamond producer is to maximise diamond recovery, while optimising costs as well as acting on the growing pressure to address corporate social responsibility and environmental issues. This is where TOMRA Mining says it can help.

TOMRA’s holistic approach and cutting-edge technologies have proven to deliver consistently exceptional recovery rates, significant cost savings, operational advantages and a smaller environmental footprint, the company says. In particular, its complete diamond recovery solution is attracting fast-growing interest of diamond producers of all sizes – from large-scale operations to small mines – from different parts of the world. TOMRA is receiving increasing enquiries from existing and new customers, looking to update their plant or complete the process with TOMRA’s revolutionary Final Recovery sorter.

A key element of TOMRA’s full solution is the COM XRT 300 /FR Final Recovery sorter, which the company has been demonstrating at its Demo Rooms in Wedel, Germany, and Johannesburg, South Africa. These demonstration facilities are proving particularly valuable for diamond operators, who have the opportunity to experience first-hand the unique benefits of this revolutionary and easy-to-operate compact final recovery sorter, the company says. They can watch accurate demonstrations of typical final recovery, sort house and single particle sorting functions, across various size fractions with either kimberlite or alluvial ore, and experience sorter outputs at various feed rates exhibiting actual on-mine conditions. The TOMRA operator can show them how their unique operational requirements would be addressed on a live easy-to-use HMI (Human Machine Interface) panel.

“The biggest advantage of these demonstrations is that the customer experiences the extremely low yield – that is the ultra-high diamond-by-weight concentrate – delivered by the sorter,” Corné de Jager, Diamond Segment Manager TOMRA Mining, says. “This in turn highlights the significant downstream benefits with regards to hand sorting and security. What’s even more impressive for them to see is the exceptionally low amount of gangue ejected with the diamond concentrate, even for the difficult-to-sort ultra-fine size fractions.”

TOMRA has also demonstrated the COM XRT 300 /FR sorter at the Electra Mining Show 2022, performing simulated operational production runs for the entire duration of the exhibition. The sorter was fed with fine alluvial ore, which had diamond dust tracers and diamonds added.

“This realistic and live operation drew a never-ending stream on show goers,”  de Jager says. “The live demo show has resulted in numerous enquiries and sales. In fact, a ‘hands-on’ CEO of a large diamond operation had lengthy discussions with the TOMRA team on site. In front of the crowd, he asked us to process 1 kg of alluvial gravel and to include 150 diamond tracers and 10 diamonds. The sorter delivered a perfect result, ejecting all 160 added tracers and diamonds, with minimal ore particles. The crowd cheered, while the CEO shook hands with our TOMRA design specialist.”

Corné de Jager, Diamond Segment Manager TOMRA Mining

TOMRA’s complete partnered diamond recovery solution

TOMRA says it is the only manufacturer to offer a complete Partnered Diamond Recovery Ecosystem – a full recovery service from 2-100 mm with a flowsheet covering the entire process – from high-capacity Concentration (+4-100 mm) to Final Recovery and Sort House applications (+2-32 mm). It includes a detailed analysis of the diamond producer’s requirements and operational needs, the collaborative development of an X-Ray Transmission (XRT) technology-based flowsheet, all the way to installation. After commissioning, TOMRA remains at the side of the diamond producer, to provide on-site and advanced remote support with specialized services and training. The complete solution can also include secure cloud computing benefits of the optional web-based TOMRA Insight service, that offers onlineand near real time performance metrics of all the sorters.

TOMRA is today, it says, the world’s leading supplier of XRT diamond recovery technology, having recovered some of the largest and rarest gemstones in history. The extremely precise detection and ejection of even the smaller particle sizes, proprietary image processing and large capacity of TOMRA’s XRT sorters deliver exceptionally high concentration factors and recovery rates in high tonnage diamond concentration applications. In fact, its promise to customers is simple: 100% detection in the specified size range, irrespective of luminescence profile or coating, and a guaranteed diamond recovery greater than 98%. This consistent performance has allowed diamond mines to revolutionise the entire process plant design.

In Final Recovery, the performance of TOMRA’s XRT proprietary ultra-high resolution sensor and precise ejection technology has revolutionised this stage of the process to efficiently deliver recovery rates greater than 99% along with an ultra-high diamond-by-weight concentrate with yields as low as 0.05%. This in turn has created a unique proposition for the significant reduction of traditional hand sorting, with higher capacities than existing single particle sorters.

ALE powers up De Beers offshore diamond mining vessel

De Beers recently turned to ALE to replace two engines on its Debmar Pacific mining vessel, in use at its offshore diamond operations in Namibia.

Since 2002, diamond mining operations in Namibia have taken place in larger volume offshore than onshore, as gemstones washed into the Atlantic Ocean over millions of years are dredged and processed. It’s an expanding market, generating over a 100 Mct/y, according to ALE.

When, as part of routine maintenance operations the Debmar Pacific mining vessel required removal and replacement of two engines, De Beers turned to ALE to ensure a swift and efficient job, the company said.

The company said: “As time in port at Cape Town was limited to just a few weeks, several other similar procedures were taking place at the same time, meaning this work had to take place under strict space limitations.”

Prior to the lift operation, ALE installed two custom-designed gantries on either side of the vessel parallel with the floor of its engine rooms. These gantries were enlarged at the client’s request, in order to provide better access to the engines, ALE said.

Each engine was then jacked-up to a height of around 1 m, using four 60 t jacks. A medium skid track measuring 25 m was then laid, from a position underneath the engine to the custom-designed gantry at the vessel’s exterior.

Each 38 t GE engine was then skidded the length of this track, where it was uplifted using a 400 t crawler crane and set down in a nearby storage area, ALE said. This procedure was completed in reverse in order to install both 80 t Wartsilla engines.

The company said: “ALE needed to liaise with several onsite authorities and contractors during the project, in particular during the construction of both access gantries. Having executed a large number of vessel upgrade procedures in the past, ALE was well-placed to advise on the lift procedure that would deliver the best value whilst upholding the highest standards of safety.”

The Debmar Pacific was built in 1977 and converted into a mining vessel during 1997. It will return to active service mining gemstones 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, once all maintenance operations on it are completed.

BlueRock hopes for Kareevlei diamond mining upgrade with Teichmann contract

BlueRock Diamonds, the owner and operator of the Kareevlei diamond mine, in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has instructed Teichmann South Africa to provide mining services to the company.

BlueRock announced back on May 16 that it was in negotiations with a member of the Teichmann Group to provide the quantity of ore necessary to meet BlueRock’s production plans.

The diamond miner said Teichmann’s extensive experience in mining operations is expected to significantly de-risk the company’s mining activities and allow BlueRock to meet its production targets in a “cost-effective manner”.

The Kareevlei licence area covers 3,000 ha and hosts five known diamondiferous kimberlite pipes. As at November 2018, it was estimated that the remaining inferred resource from the four kimberlitic pipes (KV1, KV2, KV3 and KV5) represents a potential in-ground number of carats of 367,000, BlueRock says.

The contract is for a period of five years commencing with an effective start date of July 1 and includes the extraction of ore and waste, haulage of said material to a stockpile, breaking down ore to the required size when required, and delivering ore to the processing plant.

BlueRock said: “Unlike the agreement with the previous provider of these services which was paid on an hourly basis with a minimum number of hours guaranteed, Teichmann will be paid almost entirely on a cost per tonne basis and, accordingly, the effective cost per tonne is reduced with the planned increased production.”

Based on the lower end of the company’s current production expectations, the estimated cost of Teichmann’s services for the 12 months ending June 30, 2020 will be around ZAR21 million ($1.4 million).

Mike Houston, Executive Chairman, said: “The upgrading of our mining operation is key to the overall success of the business and having an experienced mining contractor is an essential part of this process. I believe that our partnership with the wider Teichmann Group will provide further benefits going forward as we continue to implement our defined growth strategy.”