With its experience designing processing plants for a range of commodities in Africa, Bateman pioneered the introduction of the modular plant concept for diamond processing into Angola in the 1980s.The concept proved to be particularly suitable to the country’s remote mining locations as the plants are modular, pre-tested at the factory and delivered to site in a ‘knock-down’ format.
The first installations in the 1980s included dense-media separation (DMS) and X-ray recovery modules for Intraco, as well as a 120 t/h diamond treatment plant, with a 50 t/h DMS and recovery plant for Gangau, and various modular DMS units, ranging in size from 20 to 40 t/h, supplied via Mercantex, all associated with ITM Mining.
In the 1990s, the many modular contracts to Angola included a 30 t/h DMS and recovery plant for Sominor and a complete kimberliteprocess plant study undertaken for Ashton Mining. In 1998, the first three-tier containerised recovery plant module made its debut at the Yetwene Project in Angola. The complete plant, with a run-of-mine capacity of 120 t/h, incorporated a 50 t/h DMS module.
Recently, Bateman has assisted the Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, Lda, in Angola’s Lunda Sul Province, with the introduction of DMS technology into its operation near Saurimo. Bateman’s contract covered the design and supply of a 30 t/h diamond processing plant housed in its own building alongside the existing treatment facility, and two 40 t/h DMS plants supplied for a new production facility about 5 km away.
In the most recent contract, a client in Luremo, Angola has placed an order for a new diamond recovery plant, as well as for the refurbishment of existing plant.
In addition, the latest developments in containerised recovery utilising ‘hands-off’ automated grease belts and X-ray recovery combinations have attracted interest in the expanding diamond mining activities in Angola. The concept of large DMS modules of up to 200 t/h capacity (mega modules) are also drawing attention from prospective clients.