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Rockwell Implements Strategic Equipment at Saxendrift

May 22, 2012 5:00 AM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... Rockwell Diamonds implemented a new in-field screen and a bulk x-ray and single particle sorter plant at its Saxendrift diamond mine.  These two strategic projects were the first capital expenses approved by the company's board for implementation by the new management team.

The in-field screen, which was commissioned to address the high-sand content in the gravel that was impacting the mine's ability to achieve its productions targets, is designed to treat higher instances of sand and moisture while maintaining the required processing rates. Another positive impact of the new in-field screen comes from the enhanced pan-plant efficiency due to the higher-quality gravels, cleared of excess sand and small particles being fed into the plant, explained Rockwell's chief executive, James Campbell. He noted that the company is now in a position to consider mining certain blocks that would have been prohibitive earlier.

The in-field screen has enabled the company to increase its monthly volume throughput by over 30 percent while maintaining operating costs at the same level despite rising fuel prices, wage increases and an aging mining fleet in need of more maintenance.

Rockwell also implemented bulk x-ray technology aimed at improving concentrate efficiency and final sorting of diamond bearing ore in mid-April, with encouraging results so far. This strategic initiative is based on a high throughput Bourevestnik (BV) sorter and one BV single particle sorter. The project, which cost Rockwell $1.5 million, began processing old recovery tailings at Saxendrift on April 16, and has recovered a total of 316 stones totaling 1,109 carats in the first month of production. This includes 14 stones in excess of 10 carats with the largest stone weighing 52.67 carats, Rockwell said.

These projects, if successful will be applied to Rockwell's undeveloped, Middle Orange properties next.
Tags: Deena Taylor, Rockwell, Saxendrift
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