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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: August 9th 2005

 
 

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:: First Optical Gem Sorting System Commissioned

London-listed TanzaniteOne, a miner and marketer of tanzanite, has announced the commissioning of a fully automated rough tanzanite optical sorting and primary grading system, installed at the company's Merelani Tanzanite Mine in Northern Tanzania.

This advanced optical sorting and grading system, fully operational from the start of August, is a world first in the coloured gemstone industry and is seen as a significant technological milestone in TanzaniteOne's drive to improve recoveries and efficiencies.

During commissioning, the system achieved a tanzanite recovery of between 96% and 100%.

Final recovery manager Mervyn Dettmer said, "tanzanite recovery averaged out at an impressive 98% with the small fraction lost being of very low grade and value".

Following primary sorting of rough tanzanite by the system, TanzaniteOne has pioneered a secondary sort run to actually select broad grades of rough tanzanite in a completely hands off environment.

Differential testing, to determine the accuracy and efficiency of the optical sorter, has produced highly satisfactory results, with the entire operation able to be managed and monitored electronically from an off-site location.

Despite being in its early stages of operation, the optical sorting is delivering results and will allow the company to comprehensively monitor all production at plant level from a central control point.

President and COO Ian Harebottle said: "The installation and commissioning of this optical sorting system allows us to significantly improve the efficiency and grade of tanzanite production while reducing processing time and costs.

"We aim to significantly increase throughput capacity at our Merelani Tanzanite Mine and enhance the profitability of our existing tanzanite operations, whilst simultaneously freeing up further capacity for future expansion."

 

   

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