Canada’s Lucara Diamond Corp has announced that the company will be installing more of the highly successful XRT technology to process finer size fractions at its Karowe mine in the Orapa area of Botswana.
The Karowe mine in Botswana. Commissioned in 2012, it is an open-pit operation and is reputed to account for about 60 % of the world’s 100-carat-plus diamond production (photo: Lucara).
The project, through the installation of four new XRT diamond recovery units and the associated conveying and screening infrastructure, will target the recovery of diamonds in the size range between 4 mm and 8 mm. The XRT technology, which is already in use at the Karowe mine, will address processing of the very dense high quality south lobe ore at depth and will result in the most efficient and cost effective processing methodology for processing this ore. The project is forecast to cost up to US$30 million and is expected to be completed in Q4 2017.
Comments William Lamb, Lucara’s President and Chief Executive Officer: “Lucara continues to lead the way in the adoption of new technology to streamline the diamond recovery process with the XRT technology being a proven success for diamond recovery at the company's Karowe mine. The extension of XRT technology to recover the majority of our diamonds at Karowe maximises our overall processing efficiency and will contribute to continued strong operating margins across the entire value range for our high quality south lobe diamonds.
“In addition, the implementation of the new sorters will allow for improved control of the size fractions treated by the XRT machines allowing for improved flexibility and an expected improvement in production rates.”
Lucara has become famed for its production of large diamonds (including a plus 1 100-carat stone recovered in November last year, which ranks as the second biggest gem quality diamond ever mined.)