A leading southern African diamond mine famous for its large, top quality diamonds, reports success with the two IMS Engineering (IMS) Steinert X-ray transmission (XRT) sorters that are being used in the final recovery plant of the mine. These are among the first XRT sorters to be used for final recovery in the diamond mining industry.
IMS, which has a JV with Steinert for the supply and development of sensor sorting technology into the mining, industrial minerals and recycling industries, says that Steinert XRT technology has developed rapidly over the past year or so.
A leading Southern African diamond mine reports success with the two IMS Engineering Steinert X-ray transmission (XRT) sorters that are being used in the final recovery plant of the mine.
“The development of unique sorting algorithms that allow for extremely high accuracy in the detection and ejection of diamonds has created significant opportunities for new and cost-effective ways to separate minerals from waste,” says Paul Bracher, Managing Director.
In this Southern African project, extensive test work was carried out to show the client that the XRT system could detect diamonds as predicted by IMS. “It was as a result of this test work that we could provide our process guarantees. We tested both simulants and diamonds provided by the client. The goal was to achieve 100 % recovery during test work and we are proud to report that this was in fact achieved,” says Bracher.
He adds that during the test work, separation algorithms were further developed for detecting and ejecting diamonds and hardware optimisations were carried out at the same time.
For this particular application, the equipment had to be re-designed to fit the client’s footprint requirements. During this process, IMS and Steinert integrated the latest developments in the detection equipment as well as improvements in the algorithms developed during the test work. “The result was that we were able to customise the sorter to fit the required footprint, while retaining the maintainability through using standard components” says Bracher. “We have improved all areas of performance including detection and ejection into a secure area, all while obtaining the lowest possible yield to increase the diamond by weight ejected.”
During the commissioning phase, a 52-carat GNT type II, 75 % unbroken diamond was recovered by the coarse sorter. “While the finding of large diamonds is always newsworthy, the detection of large stones is easy for the technology. Of more technological significance was the detection of a 2-carat diamond that was recovered in tailings material during pre-commissioning tests.”