JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Aim-listed BlueRock Diamonds expects to restart the processing of run-of-mine (RoM) material at its Kareevlei operations, in the Northern Cape, early in February, following a thorough overhaul of the main components of the processing plant.
The upgrades, which will increase the capacity and efficiency of the plant, started late last year after the mine suffered a weeks-long suspension ordered by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), after an inspection on July 6 resulted in required changes to processing plant procedures, guarding rails on the plant and trackless mobile machinery.
The operations were initially reported to restart as expected in January.
“Our operation is now fully compliant with the requirements of the DMR and the Section 54 closure notices have now been lifted. We will continue to test the changes made to the plant over the next few weeks on low-grade stockpiles,” said CEO Adam Waugh.
After a difficult 2016, BlueRock is now entering 2017 with “cautious optimism”, with the last few months focused on completing the plant upgrade and establishing a drill and blast programme to recommence mining operations.
Preparations are under way for the next blast programme next week, with the subsequent expected good-quality RoM material set to be ready for the completion of the new primary crushing and screening circuit.
BlueRock’s appointed contractor African Mining and Crushing, which is responsible for drilling and blasting and loading and hauling, is on site and preparing for next week’s blasting.
“This is the first of a planned series of blasts that are designed to supply a consistent source of RoM material for processing,” Waugh added.
The new primary crusher, which is expected to reduce processing costs significantly, is also on site and the prescreening circuit is being delivered this week.
“The installation of these elements is expected to be completed by the end of January,” Waugh concluded.