Tag Archives: diamonds

TOMRA completes the diamond recovery loop with new XRT solution

TOMRA Sorting Mining says it is breaking new ground with a “unique” X-ray Transmission (XRT) Final Recovery solution that guarantees 99% diamond recovery.

With the new introduction, TOMRA is the first company in the industry able to supply a full diamond recovery solution using XRT technology from 2-100 mm, coupled with all the benefits of cloud computing for monitoring and managing the entire process, it said.

The new TOMRA COM XRT 300/FR final recovery sorter delivers concentration factors of up to one million with limited stages and is the only solution on the market that guarantees more than 99% diamond recovery, according to the company.

“The new sorter stands out for the high sorting efficiencies, the high diamond-by-weight concentrate, and the benefits deriving from its focus on a single consistent detection principal, diamonds,” the company said. “With this new introduction, TOMRA offers a complete partnered diamond recovery ecosystem with a flowsheet covering the entire process – from concentration to final recovery and sort house – and includes custom development with the end-user all the way to installation, then continued management of the asset and support with specialised services and training.”

The TOMRA COM XRT 300/FR is the latest step in TOMRA’s long-term diamond sector strategy, Geoffrey Madderson, Diamond Segment Manager for TOMRA Sorting Mining.

“We always had this clear objective, but the technology just didn’t exist,” he said. “We knew that to achieve our goal, we would need extremely advanced sensor technology. We have been working in-house on the development the new ultra-high resolution sensor more than five years, and now we are able to close the loop: the COM XRT 300/FR is the last piece within our recovery process, covering the final recovery and sort house applications to produce an ultra-high diamond-by-weight concentrate.”

TOMRA says its holistic approach and unique offering has earned a strong market trust in its XRT technology. As a result, the first three TOMRA COM XRT 300/FR sorters produced have already been sold to customers, all of whom purchased the machines on the back of their experience of previous TOMRA sorters.

The makeup of the TOMRA COM XRT 300/FR sorters sees input material evenly fed via a vibration feeder onto a conveyor belt. An electric X-ray tube creates a broad-band radiation, which penetrates the material and provides spectral absorption information. This is measured with an X-ray camera using DUOLINE® sensor technology, which focuses on a single, constant property of the material, density, it explained.

The advanced ultra-high resolution sensor information is processed and analysed by our TOMRA’s new Image Processing Pipeline to provide a detailed “density image” of the material, allowing it to be separated into high- and low-density fractions. If diamonds are detected, it commands the control unit to open the appropriate valves of the ejection module at the end of the conveyor belt. The detected diamonds are separated from the material flow by jets of compressed air. The sorted material is divided into two fractions in the separation chamber.

The tight tolerances and accurate alignment of the new ultra-high resolution sensor results in a high-quality picture that ensures a clear discrimination between diamonds and low-density materials down to 2 mm, according to TOMRA. The sorter features high-speed valves with a fine nozzle pitch, which significantly reduces non-diamond material in the concentrate. The result is ultra-high diamond-by-weight concentrate with a guaranteed recovery of more than 99%, the company claims.

It is possible to replace multiple sorting stages with a single TOMRA COM XRT 300/FR sorter all the way down to hand sorting, according to the company. In the final recovery application, the sorter targets the highest tonnage through the sorter that can be achieved with the highest recovery efficiency, which ranges from five tonnes to one tonne. As a result, the operation benefits from a smaller footprint and achieves much better grade.

It is also possible to replace hand sorting with a TOMRA COM XRT 300/FR. In a sort house application, it targets the highest diamond-by-weight concentrate possible, with about half the tonnage than final recovery, bringing multiple benefits. It removes the traditional bottlenecks around hand sorting efficiencies and eliminates the human error factor, the company says. In addition, it provides a high level of security by protecting the product from human intervention.

TOMRA’s partnered diamond recovery ecosystem includes consultation services during the development of the system and throughout the lifecycle of the equipment, support running the sorters, and help with specialised services and training. The company has also leveraged digital technologies to provide effective support, through its Virtual Demonstration and Test Solution and features such as the TOMRA Visual Assist Augmented Reality tool for remote assistance.

“With TOMRA, the customer’s entire recovery system falls into one ecosystem,” explains Madderson. “This allows for better compatibility and interconnectivity between the different applications of the recovery process. It gives our customers the full benefit of using cloud computing through our TOMRA Insight platform, which turns our sorters into connected machines. This enables customers to monitor and manage their recovery process in one easy-to-access place for both on-site and off-site management teams.”

TOMRA has set up a showroom dedicated to demonstrations of the TOMRA COM XRT 300/FR sorter at its Test Center in Wedel, Germany. Later in the year, TOMRA will also offer virtual demonstrations for those unable to travel to the Test Center.

Kwatani branching out from South Africa roots

Vibrating screen and feeder specialist Kwatani says it is transitioning from equipment supplier to solutions provider, as it attracts customers from well beyond its South Africa headquarters.

According to Kwatani General Manager Sales and Service, Jan Schoepflin, the company’s strong in-house expertise and design capability – combined with the manufacturing quality it consistently achieves – ensures its customised solutions deliver optimal performance at the lowest possible lifecycle costs.

“Our recent orders show that our customer base in Southern Africa remains strong, while there is growing recognition of our cost-effective offerings in West Africa, East Africa and North Africa,” says Schoepflin. “At the same time, orders from countries like Canada and Russia indicate that our markets abroad continue to grow.”

Kwatani says it remains the market leader in the supply and servicing of vibrating screens and feeders on iron ore and manganese mines in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. It also counts platinum, coal, diamond and gold mines in its customer base. Its West Africa orders have been mainly to gold mines, and there is growing potential for gold mining in East Africa, Schoepflin says.

Over its four decades of operation, Kwatani has produced about 16,000 custom-designed screens, and is building, on average, 30 to 40 units a month in its ISO 9001:2015 certified facility close to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

“Our reputation has been built on prioritising what our customers need, and doing business with integrity and trust,” Schoepflin says. “This means delivering on what we promise and making sure that customers achieve the expected value from our products.”

The company’s solution focus is underpinned by its significant and ongoing investment in local skills, ensuring that its designs leverage strong mechanical and metallurgical engineering expertise, according to Schoepflin.

“This confidence in our products allows us to offer a process guarantee to customers, to deliver the tonnage, throughput and fractions that they expect,” he says. “Depending on which country our customers operate in, they may also have different industry and quality standards/certification expectations and we work closely with them to understand these clearly and meet their requirements.”

Schoepflin also emphasises the company’s service capabilities, which include its local service centres closer to customers, and its support partners in other countries.

“The careful selection of these partners is vital to meet customers’ stringent technical expectations,” Schoepflin says. “In some countries, our partners can also manufacture components according to our drawings and specifications, should there be an urgent requirement from a customer.”

De Beers taps Sandvik expertise for Venetia underground diamond mine transition

De Beers Group has ordered 19 units of high-tech equipment from Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology for its Venetia Underground Project (VUP), in South Africa.

According to Simon Andrews, Managing Director at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology Southern Africa, the company will supply a range of intelligent equipment including LHDs, ADTs, twin-boom drill rigs, roof bolters and cable bolters. Amongst the advanced models are the 17 t LH517i and 21 t LH621i LHDs, 51 t TH551i ADTs, DD422i face drills, DS412i roof bolters and DS422i cable bolters.

Partnership will be the watchword in the technological collaboration between the global diamond leader and mining OEM.

South Africa’s largest diamond mine, Venetia has been mined as an open pit since 1992. De Beers Group is investing circa-$2 billion to start mining underground from 2022, extending the mine’s life beyond 2045. The VUP represents the biggest single investment in South Africa’s diamond industry in decades, according to the company.

Allan Rodel, Project Director of the VUP, says the use of new technology is critical in building the mine of the future and will ensure the safety of its people, as well as create unique employment opportunities.

He adds that the successful implementation of this technology holds the key to further improve the mine’s productivity and cost effectiveness, enabling the quality and accuracy required for precision mining. This will also provide real-time geospatially referenced data that supports digitalisation of processes and provide a wealth of data for analysis and continuous improvement.

The underground mine will use sublevel caving to extract material from its K01 and K02 orebodies. Initially the ore will be hauled to surface using a combination of underground and surface haul trucks. As the operation matures, the hauling systems will transition to an automated truck loop in combination with vertical shafts for steady state production.

Sandvik’s Andrews said: “As important as the equipment itself is, De Beers Group was looking to partner with a company who would support them through the VUP journey. Taking a mine from surface to underground has many challenges, including the change in operational philosophy.”

Andrews highlighted that change management processes are as crucial to success as the capacity and performance of the mining equipment. The implementation of the new technology is seldom a straightforward process, and always requires a collaborative effort.

“The expectation of the customer is for a strong relationship with a technology partner who will help them to apply, develop and fine-tune the systems they need, over a period of time,” he says. “This way, the technology is assured to deliver the safety, efficiency and other positive results that the new mine will demand.”

Andrews believes Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology leads the pack from a technology point of view, having introduced its intelligent i-Series machines to enhance remote operation capability. This advanced range combines automation with data management capacity, aligning with the philosophy that De Beers Group has applied to this world-class operation, which prioritises the safety of its people.

Also included in the package for VUP is the Sandvik OptiMine® control system which enables continuous process management and optimisation, focusing on key areas such as face utilisation and visualisation of the operation in near real time. Using data generated by the i Series machines, OptiMine helps mining operations to achieve the lowest operating costs and highest levels of productivity.

Andrews noted that Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is not new to the Venetia site, having worked with Venetia’s surface operations for some years, providing tools for drilling as part of a performance contract.

“We’ve been following the VUP with great interest and were ideally placed to contribute as we have extensive South African experience with mining customers in transitioning from opencast to underground,” he said. “This has involved providing equipment, implementing the systems and getting a full operation running with the latest equipment.”

He added: “Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has successfully completed numerous large and ambitious projects, and it reflects our experience in applying automation technologies from first principles. The learnings from these projects will be seen in the VUP as the mining systems are rolled out. We will take the very latest technology and assist the mine to implement it in an underground environment through a collaborative approach using local skills and supporting it from a local base of expertise.”

He emphasises that the automation will be applied through a phased approach, beginning with manual operation and closely monitoring performance through data analytics. Automation can be gradually introduced with the necessary training and experience, ensuring consistency of operation which is the key to success.

“This will allow costs to be driven steadily lower, using the data from the operation of the fleet to guide the transition to automation,” he says. “We will work with the mine to introduce automation and further data management as work progresses deeper into the mine, and as mine employees become more comfortable with this way of working.”

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology (soon to be Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions) is geared to support the trackless systems implemented at the mine through the full lifecycle of the machines by supplying spare parts, tooling and components from an on-site Vendor Managed Inventory stockroom and its other South African based facilities.

TOMRA XRT units help recover unbroken 998 ct diamond at Lucara’s Karowe mine

TOMRA’s COM XRT 2.0/1200 ore sorters have aided Lucara Diamond’s Karowe diamond operations, in Botswana, once again, recovering an unbroken 998 ct high white clivage diamond from the 100%-owned mine.

The diamond, measuring 67 x 49 x 45 mm, was recovered from direct milling of ore sourced from the EM/PK(S) unit of the South Lobe, and follows a series of significant diamond recoveries during this recent production run, including several top quality clivage and gem-quality stones of 273 ct, 105 ct, 83 ct, 73 ct, and 69 ct in weight.

“The EM/PK(S) forms an important economic driver for the proposed underground mine at Karowe and continues to produce large gem-quality diamonds in line with expectations, a further testament to the strong resource performance at Karowe,” the company said.

Last year, a feasibility study showed the company could double the mine life of Karowe by establishing an underground mine for $514 million in pre-production capital.

The 998 ct diamond (pictured) was recovered in the MDR (Mega Diamond Recovery) XRT circuit that allows for diamond recovery post primary crushing and prior to milling. The MDR circuit has, in the past, treated material in the size range between 50-120 mm. This latest recovery represents the second plus-500 ct diamond recovered from this circuit in 2020, Lucara noted.

Year to date, Karowe has produced 31 diamonds greater than 100 ct, including 10 diamonds greater than 200 ct comprising of the 549 ct Sethunya, and the 998 ct diamond.

Eira Thomas, Lucara CEO, said: “Lucara is extremely pleased with the continued recovery of large high-quality diamonds from the South Lobe of the Karowe mine. To recover two plus-500 ct diamonds in 10 months along with the many other high-quality diamonds across all the size ranges is a testament to the unique aspect of the resource at Karowe and the mine’s ability to recover these large and rare diamonds.

“Operations at Karowe have continued through 2020 and operational challenges, due to COVID-19 restrictions, have been met with professionalism by the team. We look forward to a safe finish to 2020 and continued success at Karowe as we remain focussed on strong operations to ensure maximum resource performance.”

Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine closes after 37 years of operations

After 37 years of operations and having exhausted its economic reserves, the iconic Argyle mine in the remote east Kimberley region of Western Australia has celebrated its final day of mining.

The Argyle orebody, a single pipe known as AK1, was discovered in October 1979. Alluvial operations began in 1983, open-pit mining began in 1985 and the mine became a fully underground operation in 2013. Over this period of time, the mine has produced more than 865 Mct of rough diamonds becoming the world’s largest producer of coloured diamonds and virtually the sole source of a very small but consistent source of rare pink diamonds, according to Rio.

Arnaud Soirat, Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive of Copper & Diamonds, said: “Fifty years ago, there were very few people who believed there were diamonds in Australia – even fewer could have foreseen how the Argyle story would unfold. To arrive at this final chapter has required vision, courage and determination to overcome significant challenges to enter new territory in diamond exploration, mining and marketing.

“Today, Argyle’s influence stretches into many spheres and over many continents and I am very proud to acknowledge all those people who have contributed to the discovery and development of the mine and the production of some of the finest diamonds the world has ever seen.”

Argyle employees, Traditional Owners and local stakeholders attended an event at the mine, signalling the formal transition from an operational mine to the commencement of closure. The closure process is expected to take some five years to decommission and dismantle the mine and undertake rehabilitation, followed by a further period of monitoring. Argyle will employ a smaller workforce, post the final mining and diamond production activities, continuing to contribute to the local economy.

Andrew Wilson, General Manager of the Argyle mine, said “This is an historic day for the Argyle mine and the east Kimberley region and a great source of pride for this unique Australian success story. A new chapter will now begin as we start the process of respectfully closing the Argyle mine and rehabilitating the land, to be handed back to its traditional custodians.”

De Beers contracts Redpath for mining services at Venetia diamond mine

Redpath Australia and Redpath Mining Africa have announced the award of the mining services contract at the Venetia Mine, in South Africa, from De Beers Group.

Venetia is South Africa’s largest producer of diamonds, and is situated close to the town of Alldays in the Limpopo province.

The contract comprises Redpath providing skilled management, operational and maintenance personnel to form part of the Integrated Operations Team at Venetia. The Venetia Underground project involves the transition from an open-pit mine to an underground mine. Open-pit mining at Venetia is likely to run until 2021, with the underground mine set to extend the life of the mine to 2046 and provide an estimated 94 Mct of diamonds.

Redpath Australia Managing Director, Gavin Ramage, said: “We are excited to be working with De Beers Group in transferring our safe and efficient operating processes to the South African workforce. Together with Redpath Mining South Africa, we will utilise the skillsets of both our Australian and African business units.

“Redpath have been successful in doing this at other major projects across the globe so we look forward to providing another successful outcome for De Beers at Venetia.”

Work on-site will commence in February 2021, with recruitment to commence shortly, Redpath said.

Canada invests in Suncor-backed clay content analyser project for mining sector

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan, has announced a C$1.6 million ($1.2 million) investment in the development of an analyser able to provide near real-time measurements of the active clay content in oil sands and mine tailings.

The project, led by the Saskatchewan Research Council with Suncor Energy Inc and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology as partners, could prove beneficial to Canada’s diamond, potash and oil sands sectors.

On top of the Federal Government’s funding, through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, the project collaborators are also providing in-kind and financial contributions, bringing the overall project value to C$2.29 million.

Clay is naturally present in varying quantities within minerals deposits and presents a significant tailings management challenge. The clay analyser will assist in near real-time measurements of clay concentrations, which will allow the companies to develop strategies for effective process control and tailings management options that can reduce the use of chemicals, resulting in operating cost savings and reducing tailing deposit footprints.

The technology is also applicable to different types of mines, such as diamond, potash and oil sands, and will have various environmental benefits, including improved water management and reduced land disturbance, leading to progressive reclamation of mine sites, the government said.

Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada’s energy, mining and forest sectors. The program is a C$155 million investment fund that helps emerging clean technologies further reduce their impacts on air, land and water while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.

(photo: Suncor Energy’s oil sands)

Multotec solution scrubs up well at Ekapa Minerals diamond plant

A revolutionary new concept in fines scrubbing is proving to be a game changer for Ekapa Minerals at its Combined Treatment Plant (CTP) in Kimberley, South Africa.

The innovation, developed by Multotec Wear Linings, is processing both virgin underground kimberlite as well as tailings for retreatment at the CTP. The solution is effectively a pulping chute that scrubs and washes the re-crushed product after it has passed through the high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) inter-particle tertiary crushing circuit.

The important advantage here, according to Multotec Wear Linings Projects Sales Manager, John Britton, is that it performs the scrubbing action faster and more efficiently than a traditional rotary scrubber would, and at much lower cost.

Multotec commissioned two of these pulping chutes at Ekapa Minerals in late 2019, where they have been operating consistently and in line with expectations. With the use of patented wave generators, the pulping chute uses the gravitational energy from the slurry flow to create a constant turbulent mixing action that releases the mud, clay and slime sticking to the kimberlite particles.

According to Ekapa Minerals CEO, Jahn Hohne, the pulping chutes are a welcome contribution to the company’s cost saving efforts, and a clear demonstration of Multotec’s expertise in developing value-adding solutions in the mining sector.

“The dual chute pulping plant is ideally suited to de-conglomerating the HPGR cake product and is exceeding expectations in efficiency and effectiveness at over 600 t/h, which is a major relief on the existing overloaded pair of CTP scrubbers,” he said. “The net result is a meaningful increase of up to 20% throughput capacity of the entire processing plant which substantially improves the economy of scale of CTP, feeding directly to the bottom line.”

Britton highlighted the efficiency of the system, which is able to aggressively scrub the material in just three to four seconds as it passes through the chute. This represents just a fraction of the usual retention time in a rotary scrubber, which is three to four minutes, according to the company. He also emphasises the drastic reduction in running cost which the pulping chute achieves.

“From our experience of plant layouts and flow diagrams, it is clear that fines scrubbers are significant contributors to a plant’s capital, operating and maintenance costs,” Britton said. “Scrubbers are equipped with large drives with gears and gearboxes to rotate the drum. They are high consumers of power and require mechanical component maintenance which means higher operating costs.”

Substantial structures and supports are also needed for the scrubber and its drive mechanisms. In designing the pulping chute, Multotec sought a simplified solution, Britton says. In addition to improving scrubbing efficiency, the objective included reducing the cost of replacing scrubber liners and the downtime that this demanded. The cost of replacing the steel shell of a scrubber – which is constantly subject to stress, wear and fatigue – was another cost to be considered.

“The pulping chute, by contrast, is a stationery and much simplified innovation, focused on the scrubbing of fines less than 32 mm in size,” the company said. “Slurry deflectors located at the top end of the scrubbing chute direct at least part of the slurry away from the scrubbing chute floor. This curls into an arched form which flows backwards into the approaching flow of slurry, creating the turbulent scrubbing effect.”

Britton said: “We custom-design the chutes to suit the application and can increase chute capacity to up to 800 t/h. This is achieved with no moving parts, bearings, hydraulic packs or girth gears; the only power required is to supply material and water to the receiving chute. These actions are also required to feed the scrubber, then gravity takes over and provides the required energy.”

Maintenance is also streamlined by designing the chute in segments. Should one segment be wearing more than others, it can be quickly removed and replaced – putting the chute back into operation while the original segment is refurbished as a spare.

Britton says the pulping chute has drawn interest from other diamond producers in southern Africa, Australia and Canada. It can also be applied in commodity sectors such as coal, platinum, chrome, iron ore and mineral sands.

B&E International to help miners consolidate supply chains amid COVID-19

As mining companies cut back in efforts to remain viable under COVID-19’s demanding conditions, crushing and screening specialist B&E International is proposing a bold new approach to streamline mines’ supply chains.

According to Ken Basson, Director of Plant and Engineering at B&E International, mining suppliers and service providers need to be proactive in helping mines find sustainable solutions to the current challenges.

“COVID-19 will undoubtedly reduce demand for certain commodities, and, with geopolitical uncertainty, we are likely to see increased commodity price volatility,” Basson says. “This is leading most mining companies – especially juniors – to try to strengthen their balance sheets.”

To do this, there are inevitable cuts in capital expenditure and even operating expenditure. He says the time has come for mining suppliers to streamline the delivery of their services and products, and even to assume more of the day-to-day risk facing mining operations.

“At a time when mines are demanding even higher efficiencies and more plant uptime due to tough trading conditions, the post-COVID environment is expected to present a number of logistical and supply chain constraints,” he said. “To cut through this double-whammy, suppliers need to be helping to consolidate supply chain networks. This is the only way of minimising procurement expenses while limiting process plant outages due to critical spares being unavailable in time.”

A range of other imperatives also need to be addressed at the same time, he says. These include the growing demand for mines to support in-country job creation and local skills development, as well as local manufacturing and procurement. This means less reliance on costly expatriate skills, whose movement around Africa may, in any event, be restricted by COVID-related regulations.

“To streamline the supply chain, B&E International is forming strategic partnerships with key suppliers, to integrate their respective service offerings with ours,” he says. “This gives the mine the advantage of dealing with fewer supplier interfaces. We also take over the responsibility of ensuring that our partners – and their products – perform to expectation.”

He highlights that B&E International – with a 40-year legacy in contract crushing, screening and mineral processing services – has expertise across the process supply chain. With experience across commodities including coal, copper, diamonds, gold, iron ore, manganese and aggregates, the company engineers cost effective solutions in various conditions around Africa, he added.

As one of the few companies in South Africa that both builds and operates its own equipment, B&E International is extending its level of vertical integration through this collaboration with strategic partners.

“Not only do we design, manufacture and install complete processing plants across various commodity sectors, but we also operate and finance these facilities,” Basson says. “This places us in a unique position to partner with mines to reduce their capex, opex and risk.”

The company offers a build, own, operate and transfer model of plant procurement, ensuring a mining company of its planned throughput while also fixing the exact cost of that production, he says.

As part of its market offering, it already conducts optimisation and debottlenecking studies for mineral process plant operators. It also provides plant maintenance contracts, in which it will operate and maintain a customer’s process plant on a toll basis, charging a fixed rate per tonne. Other current services include plant audits, optimisation studies, dust extraction, sampling and breaker systems for oversize run of mine treatment.

“A vertically integrated service offering to mines holds great value for both greenfield and brownfield sites,” Basson says. “As important is our experience in developing local skills wherever we operate – with both formal and hands-on training.”

He highlights that this approach empowers the customer to retain their future options in how they will operate their plants, depending on their internal success and broader economic conditions.

ABB to energise world’s largest advanced diamond recovery vessel

ABB has won a contract from Damen Shipyards Group to deliver an advanced power system for Debmarine Namibia’s custom-built diamond recovery vessel.

The Switzerland-based company will supply an integrated power system package that will ensure the world’s largest and most technologically advanced diamond recovery vessel meets exceptional safety, efficiency and availability requirements, it said. The vessel is being built by Damen at Damen Shipyards Mangalia on the Black Sea, in Romania.

With a total cost of $468 million, the vessel is the largest single investment ever made in the marine diamond industry, according to Debmarine. It deploys advanced subsea crawling – a technique for recovering diamonds from the seabed. The new build will be delivered to Debmarine Namibia, a joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, in 2022.

Debmarine Namibia extracts some of the highest quality diamonds available anywhere from water of between 90-150 m deep off the south west coast of the country.

The new 177 m ship has been designed by Norway-based naval architects, Marin Teknikk. It will become the largest ship in the owner’s fleet, exceeding the size of Debmarine Namibia’s current largest vessel, the Mafuta, by 8,000 t displacement (vessel weight based on the amount of water displaced by the hull). It is expected to increase the shipowner’s annual production by 35%, contributing an additional 500,000 ct to today’s production levels.

The offshore mining specialist previously installed ABB’s power systems on board the SS Nujoma (SSN), Debmarine Namibia’s deep-water diamond exploration and sampling vessel.

Michael Curtis, who is heading the new build project for Debmarine Namibia, said: “The success of the SSN, with high reliability, efficient positioning and low fuel consumption coupled with safe operation, was instrumental in selecting the same systems for the new diamond recovery vessel, with ABB’s power systems being an integral part of the solution.”

The latest ABB technology will ensure the vessel achieves unsurpassed uptime, according to the company.

In addition to the advanced system for power generation, distribution and variable speed drive propulsion systems, the solution includes a large online double-conversion marine uninterruptible power supply (MUPS) to support the ship’s control processes, significantly reducing the risk of critical power loss and downtime.

“ABB’s MUPS is designed for undisrupted availability, ensuring power backup for the vessel’s on-board control systems of the subsea-crawler and processing plant that sorts through sediment lifted from the seabed to extract diamonds,” ABB said. “ABB’s advanced and tightly integrated power system will help optimise engine loading, as well as reduce running hours and fuel costs, and decrease maintenance needs.”

Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports, said: “This is a truly special ship, packed with sophisticated technology, and a project demanding an especially close relationship with the customer to ensure that optimal solutions were delivered for exact specifications.

“We are thrilled to see that the team behind this advanced vessel recognises the benefits of efficiency, safety and uptime available through integration. This success is also consistent with growing traction for ABB’s electric, digital and connected solutions across an increasing number of vessel types and operational profiles.”