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MEI Online: Commodities: Non-Metallic Ores: Diamond: Latest News: April 25th 2005


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:: Further Siberian Successes

DRA (Dowding, Reynard and Associates) has been at the cutting-edge of diamond recovery technology for the past 17 years. The South African company has designed and supplied a variety of large and small diamond plants for leading mining houses on five continents.

Hot on the heels of the DMS plant supplied into Siberia in June 2004, DRA has been awarded a further contract, by Alrosa Co. Ltd, to supply two DMS units for a project in the Russian Federation’s Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2005. The units are fully automated, semi-modular and designed to treat de-slimed diamond kimberlites. They are to be installed in the existing No. 8 plant at Aykhal, just below the Arctic Circle in central Siberia.

The plant at Aykhal, installed in an existing plant building that is insulated and heated, has been designed to operate at ambient temperatures of between 11°C and 25°C, as opposed to the previous plant which functions at temperatures well below zero.

The DRA engineering team on the project was faced with some remarkable challenges in addition to the language barrier and the long distances for communication. The toughest obstacle was limited space and height considerations. Being in an existing building, the new plant had to be designed around the existing plant. In order to trial assemble the plant locally, very few if any, ‘tie-ins’ were permissible into existing steelwork and the two units were virtually stand-alone. A further challenge was the electrical design. This had to incorporate two totally automated plants that had to be compatible with the control systems on site. The programming had to be flexible enough to be encoded in English and then converted into Russian for local use.

The plants have been pre-assembled in Johannesburg. The modules will be packed into standard containers and shipped to St Petersburg. They will be flown from there by cargo plane to Yakutia and taken to their final destination by helicopter. Site construction should commence in May of this year.




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