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:: DRA on Track with DMS Plant for Lion Ore
DRA is currently on track for the design, installation and commissioning of a new Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant for Lion Oreís Tati Nickel Mine near Francistown, Botswana. The R900 million contract will see the installation of a new DMS plant with a throughput of 1600 tons per hour and is expected to come on line by the 3rd quarter of 2008.
The plant will be installed in the concentrator plant of Tatiís Phoenix open pit and was commissioned in an effort to improve the consistency of product entering the concentrator plantís feed by removing excess waste. By increasing the nickel grade, the mine will be able to increase its output from 8 million to 12 million tons per annum. The plant will consist of four identical 400tph modules, together forming the largest DMS plant built by DRA to date.
Says Phildi Scholtz, ďIn addition to its unusual size, this is also the first time a DMS plant has been implemented for a nickel operation. Ordinarily they are used in diamond, coal, chrome and iron ore. Currently the project is in the detailed design phase which is running in parallel with the earthworks taking place on site. By constructing each module simultaneously we will reduce the time to commissioning."
Scholtz also admits that there have been a few challenges. For example, since this is a brownfields project, DRA is constrained by the mineís existing plant infrastructure. Constant interaction between DRA and the client will ensure a minimum of disruption to the mineís production during installation and commissioning. In addition a new power system has to be installed by Botswana Power Corporation. This will increase the substation capacity from 20MVA to 40MVA and is expected to be completed by January 2008. Cold commissioning of the new plant is expected by the 2nd quarter of 2008 while full production will come on line by the 3rd quarter.
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