Dual-listed Diamcor Mining says the Phase 1 upgrade at the company’s Krone-Endora at Venetia project, in South Africa, is demonstrating its ability to achieve the targeted 100% increase in processing volumes.
The upgrades are also expected to achieve the added benefit of reducing operating costs on a per ton basis through a reduction in plant consumables and maintenance.
Further refinements are expected to be made over the coming weeks to ensure the full potential of these upgrades is realised.
The company says it sees the completion of this initial phase as an important milestone, which was required to enable it to achieve its long-term growth objectives.
With Phase 1 complete, the focus will now be on advancing a larger Phase 2 upgrade, which is aimed at supporting the company’s additional growth plans.
PHASE 1 UPGRADE
The initial phase completed at the project’s current main treatment plant (MTP) included upgrades to the plant’s materials handling systems, diamond concentration systems and electronic diamond X-ray equipment.
In addition, various elements were streamlined to reduce water and power consumption, thus lowering the MTP’s carbon footprint.
Diamcor’s stated objectives for this initial phase was to provide the company with the potential to increase historical processing volumes by up to 100%, while lowering operating costs on a per ton basis.
The successful implementation of this first phase was designed to provide it with the ability to generate additional rough diamond recoveries and revenues to support the funding and advancement of the planned, larger, second phase of upgrades.
PHASE 2 UPGRADE
This larger growth effort was originally targeted to be completed in one phase and to begin in 2020 as part of the company’s pre-Covid-19 plan to establish larger processing facilities to support the long-term objectives of the project.
Despite having to delay these efforts as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the company revised and completed significant planning to adjust these efforts into two stages in anticipation of the eventual resumption of operations, it notes.
The Phase 2 upgrades will include the addition of high-throughput X-ray technology and target a further increase in processing capability of up to 100% over those achieved in the Phase 1 upgrades.
Moreover, the upgrades will significantly reduce the overall plant footprint size through the colocation of the current in-field screening plant (IFS) and MTP, while further reducing the consumption of water, power and other consumables on a per ton basis.
The design of this planned layout is also expected to reduce the costs of operating the mining fleet.
This second, larger upgrade is not expected to impact ongoing processing at the project’s current facilities during its implementation.
Diamcor plans to begin advancing the Phase 2 expansion efforts prior to the end of the year, with its completion targeted for the end of the first half of 2022.
Further to the upgrades and further expansion of the project’s processing capabilities, Diamcor plans to initiate exploration on the larger surrounding areas of the project in 2022.
The results of the exploration work will be used to aid the company in arriving at initial production decisions for the project.