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MEI Online: Commodities: Non-Metallic Ores: Diamond: Latest News: August 9th 2006


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:: Sonop Installs a Grease-Belt System Diamond-Recovery Plant

Bateman Engineering has designed and supplied a grease-belt final diamond-recovery plant to Sonop Delwery between Christiana and Bloemhof in the Northwest Province, RSA. The lump-sum turnkey order for this containerised modular plant was received on 15 June 2005 and delivered exactly five months later.

At the site, Sonop Delwery use pan concentrators and dense-media separation (DMS) plants to produce concentrate for the grease-belt recovery plant. Tailings dumps are also being re-treated.

The final recovery plant comprises three conventional grease belts, each with two feeders to ensure an even distribution of concentrate over the belts. The fines belt, with a capacity of 4 t/h, treats a concentrate feed of 1 mm to 6 m in size, the middlings belt handles 6 t/h of a feed between 6 mm and 12 mm and the coarse belt handles 10 t/h of feeds of between 12 mm and 30 mm.

This is a standard, proven, semi-automated, hands-off Bateman Engineering design with low capital and operating cost. With a low requirement for operator skill and maintenance by skilled technicians and electricians, Bateman Engineering grease belts are well suited for use in remote areas. The system is gaining in popularity, several having been supplied to diamond processors in Southern Africa in the past two years (e.g. see Bateman Globe No. 55).

Sonop's recovery plant was built into seven containers at a workshop near Pretoria, fully tested and then dismantled, transported about 400 km by road to site, reassembled and commissioned. Because the plant remains housed in the containers at the site, the containers ensure that the diamonds can be recovered securely. Furthermore, as the containers are thermally-insulated, they also provide comfortable working conditions, both day and night.



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