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MEI Online: Commodities: Non-Metallic Ores: Diamond: Latest News: November 4th 2004


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:: Commissioning of Primary Crusher at Elizabeth Bay

Upgrading of the treatment plant at Namdeb's Elizabeth Bay Mine in Namibia has reached an important milestone with the commencement of the commissioning of the primary crusher. The gyratory crusher is the first major piece of equipment to be installed and represents the first phase of the project.

The primary liberation area, which represents some 30% of the total value of the N$400M (about US$50M) project, is expected to improve the throughput of the plant and handle feed size material up to 1 000 mm, making liberation of diamonds considerably more efficient. In addition, the gyratory crusher is part of the new wet-crushing system that is being installed to make it possible for the plant to treat material which it traditionally would not have been able to handle, such as clay-rich material and very hard cemented material, as well as ore from wet areas. With this new system, the first of its kind in the De Beers Group, the plant will be able to treat all potentially viable diamond deposits at Elizabeth Bay Mine.

The plant is running at 600 t/h at present and this is expected to increase during the second phase, which comprises the introduction of milling and secondary- and tertiary-crushing and screening into the system. This phase is planned for the end of September 2004.

The crusher is a Kawasaki primary gyratory crusher designed to handle wet, clay-rich material at 600 t/h. It was manufactured in Japan, shipped to Durban and transported overland to Luderitz on four special truck loads.

The EPCM (engineering, procurement, construction and management) contract to upgrade the treatment plant commenced in May 2003 and covers the installation of primary-, secondary- and tertiary-crushing facilities, two stages of primary screening and a ball-milling process. The contract was awarded to Bateman by Namdeb under a unique partnering arrangement with a shared risk / shared reward incentive scheme.

Elizabeth Bay Mine is near the Atlantic port of Luderitz in Namibia, and is being upgraded as part of the Elizabeth Bay Liberation Project. The extension project will extend the life of the mine by 10 years and will increase the mine's annual production to about 75% more than current production in the first three years of operation, and will remain 56% above current levels for the remainder of the mine's lifespan. The mine currently contributes about 8 % of Namdeb's annual production, but the extension project should see the mine increase its contribution by 25% in the first three years and then by 12 % for the remainder of the mine's lifespan.




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