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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: November 24th 2005


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:: Modular, Drill-chip Sampling Plant Supplied to Venetia

A modular plant for processing drill-chip samples obtained in the course of a resource-extension campaign has been supplied to the Venetia Diamond Mine near Musina, Limpopo, RSA. This project was conducted under the project-partnership model introduced between De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited and Bateman at the end of 2003.

The drill chip samples are supplied to the plant in ore bags with the capacity to hold two tons. The plant comprises three sections. The liberation module contains scrubbing, screening, primary crushing and oversize-crushing circuits to release the diamonds from the host rock.

The liberated diamonds and crushed rock are then pumped by jet pump to the dense-media separation (DMS) module comprising a 10 t/h DMS unit where they are separated. The diamond concentrate from the sinks screen is conveyed by tube feeder to the diamond-recovery module. The latter module is housed in seven standard containers and comprises an X-ray recovery circuit and a sort house plus a tailings-recycle system.

The liberation and DMS modules were manufactured in Springs and the containerised recovery module in Modderfontein, near Johannesburg. After trial assembly and testing at the manufacturer's works, the plant was dismantled and loaded onto 14 heavy-duty trucks and transported approximately 500 km to site, where it was re-assembled for commissioning. This fast-track project commenced in May 2004 and, after commissioning, the plant was handed over to the client in mid 2005.

When the sampling programme has been completed, consideration will be given to moving the plant to another operation. In this event the plant will be dismantled and its modules moved individually to mining operations elsewhere, if necessary even by air.

To this end, the plant was specially designed so that it could fit into a transport aircraft. Extensive use was made of tubular steel to ensure that the structure is very light and, as the frame is fully welded, no bracing is necessary.

Ease of disassembly and assembly of the components was facilitated by using simple connections which would enable the client's site crews to handle the job.




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