Johannesburg, South Africa — 22 May 2012 – Mid-tier diamond mining and development company Rockwell Diamonds has successfully completed the installation of two new strategic projects which are having a substantial effect on production at its Saxendrift mine.
The company reports that these two projects “’ a new in-field screen and the bulk x-ray and single particle sorter plant “’ were the first two strategic capital projects initiated by the new management team of the group.
The in-field screen was commissioned to address the high sand content in the gravel that was impacting the mine’s ability to achieve its productions targets. Rockwell Diamonds said the project had come in under budget and had been delivering the anticipated benefits for the past four months. The screen was running in excess of 95% efficiency notwithstanding the fact that it was operating at 17% above its design throughput. Since the new plant had come on stream in November 2011, the mine had been able to increase its processing capacity by 30%.
“We are in a position to consider mining certain blocks that have a higher sand content and could not be processed previously, but now have the potential to increase the life of mine at Saxendrift,” said Rockwell CEO James Campbell.
The commissioning of the bulk x-ray technology was done to improve concentrate efficiency and final sorting of diamond bearing ore, and carried a capital cost of US$1.5 million. It was completed in mid-April 2012 to scope and within buget.
Having started processing old recovery tailings at Saxendrift on April 16, a total of 316 stones totalling 1,109 carats have been recovered in the first four weeks of production. This included 14 stones exceeding 10 carats with the largest weighing 52.67 carats, said the statement.
“The preliminary results from testing the bulk x-ray machine are extremely encouraging: diamond recoveries have exceeded expectations and we are increasingly optimistic that this technology will provide a more efficient alternative to the traditional pan plants used by Rockwell until now,” said Campbell.
“Once the proof of concept has been fully tested, it is our intention to deploy the technology into our new projects along the Middle Orange river,” he added.
Source: Rockwell Diamonds. For more information, click here.