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MEI Online: Gravity Concentration: Latest News: May 13th 2004


:: Doing a Jig over Diamonds

The increasing use of Gekko InLine Pressure Jigs in the diamond industry is starting to attract serious attention in Southern Africa where more than 15 units have now been supplied to diamond producers.

The IPJs are being used to treat marine, beach, tailings and alluvial diamond deposits, with one of the larger producers, the Trans Hex Group (THG), recently installing an IPJ1500 aboard one of its deep water mining vessels.

Gekko Systems HSA manager, Russell Hems, says '"the application of the jigs in the diamond industry began with 91a steep learning curve92 but the industry is now seeing the benefits of pre-concentration prior to dense media separation." This has been helped by Gekko's development of synthetic raggings of precise specific gravity and shape, providing much more uniform settling properties. The synthetic raggings are also less abrasive to screens. The ragging proved to be the turning point for THG's purchase of a trial IPJ to test the efficiency of shell removal from marine contractor gravels prior to the gravel being treated in Dense Media Separation recovery pants. The synthetic diamond ragging has been credited with up to 100 per cent diamond recovery to sinks in the +6-19mm gravels tested.

In an article in African Mining, THG's Manager Metallurgical Projects, Colyn Purdon said the company would now be looking into further applications for Gekko Systems technology. Russell says there is a growing realisation that the savings in terms of capital costs (in the case of a new plant) and FeSi consumption and tonnage throughput are significant.

The benefits for the small operators on the SA west coast who transport their gravels significant distance for toll treatment are also considerable. In Australia, an 80 tonnes/hour 1PJ2400 is also successfully working in an oxidised kimberlite application for Kimberley Diamonds Ltd.



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