New XRT technology keeps Karowe's precious stones rolling!


Having unearthed the 1 109ct ‘Lesedi la Rona’ – the second-largest gem quality diamond ever discovered and the 813ct ‘Constellation’ which was the most expensive rough diamond ever sold – in November last year, Lucara Diamond Corp. of Vancouver has now completed the upgrade of their large diamond recovery (LDR) XRT unit at the Karowe mine in Botswana.

This LDR circuit upgrade processes fractions up to 90 mm – the same size as South Africa’s legendary Cullinan diamond discovered in 1905 – and has already recovered a number of very large stones.

Commenting on this production expansion, William Lamb, Lucara’s president and CEO said: "The Karowe mine has continued to produce large exceptional high-value stones. The ongoing sale of these diamonds has solidified the company's market leadership position and brand recognition for the sale of exceptional high-quality, large diamonds.”

The company will hold its second exceptional stone tender of the year on November 16. This latest sale will feature 12 exceptional Karowe diamonds which together should record a combined weight expected to be in the region of 1 100 ct.

Quantifying Lucara’s gains further, Mr Lamb went on to add: “Our focus on advancing our recovery techniques, marketing strategy and the routes to market for the sale of such exceptional diamonds has resulted in the expansion of our premium customer base and is achieving maximum diamond recoveries, prices and shareholder value.” (Source: Mining Weekly)

Having announced a further plant investment for its Karowe mine back in August, Lucara has confirmed it will spend $30-million on the project of installing four more X-ray transmission (XRT) diamond recovery units to support the processing of finer-size fractions.

These new TOMRA units, plus their associated conveying and screening infrastructure, will be deployed to achieve the recovery of diamonds in the size range between 4 mm and 8 mm. XRT technology is already in use at the Karowe mine, and in this instance will be called upon to process very dense, high quality ore found at depth in Karowe’s productive south lobe. The project is expected to be completed in Q4, 2017, and will deliver the most efficient and cost effective methodology for processing this ore, resulting in improved flexibility and an anticipated improvement in production. (Source: Lucara Diamonds)