One of the secrets to a thriving alluvial diamond business is moving high volume tonnages – consistently – and Rockwell Diamonds is proving this is true. The company has breathed new life into its Middle Orange River mines over the 2014 year thanks to the implementation of an ingenious idea which has seen it replace and revive its entire earthmoving fleet, more cost effectively than originally thought possible, writes Laura Cornish.
Alluvial mining is no easy task, and arguably requires more persistence, determination and passion than any other commodity. Fortunately Rockwell Diamonds’ CEO James Campbell and management team have these qualities in abundance. And the results are clear to anyone who understands the alluvial diamond business. The company, which not that long ago was barely mining sufficient volumes to warrant its existence, has drastically transformed itself.
It has been three and a half years since Campbell took up the CEO position. “Rockwell Diamonds is mining and processing greater volumes than ever before (15 Mtpa pro rata) and has declared nine successive quarters of revenue growth,” says Campbell.
But Rockwell Diamonds’ success has not come easily. “We have built two new mines (Saxendrift Hill Complex (SHC) and Niewejaarskraal) from working capital and preused equipment while contending with the financial market’s unchanging negative perception about alluvial mining, in the Middle Orange River in particular.” Despite this, building onto and adding to its list of improvements and achievements has become the ‘norm’ for this company, which in 2014 includes one of its greatest successes to date.
“Replacing the entire historic mining fleet, at Saxendrift and SHC, is undoubtedly one of our most exciting accomplishments,” says Campbell, who admits that …