Diamcor Mining has announced that its Phase one upgrade objective, completed ahead of schedule, is demonstrating its ability to achieve the targeted 100% increase in processing volumes at the Company’s Krone Endora at Venetia Project.
The upgrades are also expected to achieve the added benefit of reducing operating costs on a per ton basis through a reduction in plant consumables and maintenance.
Further refinements are expected to continue over the coming weeks to ensure the full potential of these new upgrades is realized.
The Company sees the completion of this initial phase as an important milestone which was required to enable it to achieve its long-term growth objectives. With Phase one complete, the focus will now be on advancing a larger Phase two upgrade, which is aimed at supporting the Company’s additional growth plans.
Phase One Upgrade – The initial phase completed at the Project’s current Main Treatment Plant (MTP) included upgrades to the plant’s material handling systems, diamond concentration systems, and electronic diamond x-ray equipment. In addition, various elements were streamlined to reduce water and power consumption, thus lowering the MTP’s carbon footprint.
The Company’s stated objectives for this initial phase was to provide the Company with the potential to increase historical processing volumes by up to 100%, whilst lowering operating costs on a per ton basis.
The successful implementation of this first phase was designed to provide the Company with the ability to generate additional rough diamond recoveries and revenues to support the funding and advancement of the planned, larger, second phase of upgrades.
Phase Two Upgrade – With the completion of phase one, the Company will now shift its focus to Phase two of its expansion plans. This larger growth effort was originally targeted to be completed in one phase and begin in 2020 as part of the Company’s pre-COVID plan to establish larger processing facilities to support the long-term objectives of the Project.
Despite having to delay these efforts as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Company revised and completed significant planning to adjust these efforts into two-stages in anticipation of the eventual resumption of operations. The Phase two upgrades will include the addition of high throughput X-ray technology and target further increase in processing capability of up to 100% over those achieved in the Phase one upgrades.
In addition, the upgrades will significantly reduce the overall plant footprint size by co-location of the current In-Field Screening plant (IFS) and MTP, while further reducing the consumption of water, power, and other consumables on a per ton basis. The design of this planned layout is also expected to reduce the costs of operating the mining fleet.
This second, larger upgrade is not expected to impact ongoing processing at the Project’s current facilities during its implementation. The Company plans to begin advancing the Phase two expansion efforts prior to the end of 2021, with its completion targeted for the end of H1, 2022.
Exploration – In addition to the upgrades and further expansion of the Project’s processing capabilities, the Company plans to initiate exploration on the larger surrounding areas of the Project in 2022. Past exploration and trial mining exercises to date have only focused on +/-300 ha of the Project’s total 5,888 ha to date.
Through these additional exploration efforts, the Company hopes to better determine the potential and location of the known displacement and erosion from the adjacent De Beers flagship Venetia diamond mine.
The initial exploration plans will include additional drilling and bulk sampling and is expected to be followed by an update of the Project’s NI43-101 report in due course. The results of the exploration work will be used to aid the Company in arriving at initial production decisions for the Project.