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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: June 29th 2006


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:: First Diamonds from De Beers Tailings Re-Treatment Project

Dwyka Diamonds, the AIM and ASX quoted diamond developer and producer, today announced that commercial recovery of diamonds from its De Beers tailings re-treatment project - located in Kimberley, South Africa - has commenced.

Originally, Dwyka’s state-of-the-art dense media separation plant was designed to process throughput of 50,000 tonnes per month (‘tpm’); however, modifications during the course of construction have resulted in surplus installed capacity. Initial commissioning tests confirmed that the planned production targets should be easily achieved. The Company will maintain a target of 50,000 tpm for July and August before commencing throughput optimisation to realise the additional installed capacity.

Primary diamond recovery at Dwyka’s plant is achieved by way of X-ray sorting. Following this, more conventional technology - that is, a purpose-built, high-capacity grease belt that processes all the tailings discharge from the X-ray sorters - provides a recovery safety net and maximises the performance of the recovery section.

Once stable operations at full capacity are achieved, a de-bottlenecking programme will be implemented to identify capacity restrictions. At that stage, a cost-benefit analysis of modifications will be reviewed, with the aim of increasing output on a regular basis and optimising operating costs.

Today, Adrian Griffin, Dwyka’s CEO, commented that: "We are regularly achieving design production rates from the new plant, and the benefits of our construction modifications are obvious. These modifications should allow throughput of 80,000-100,000 tpm with minimal further adjustments. The commissioning process has stretched our staff but their dedication is commendable and I would like to publicly congratulate them on their success."




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