DRA Mineral Projects has been appointed the EPCM contractor for a modular recovery plant for De Beers Snap Lake Diamond Project located 220km north east of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada. The plant project is valued at R71 million.

Says DRA’s Paul Howard, “The Snap Lake Project is the first DRA project for De Beers in Canada, the first kimberlite dyke to be mined by de Beers and is also Canada’s first underground diamond mine.

It is located in an area that is so remote that road access is available only from mid-February to the end of March when the Winter Road is operational. As it is built over frozen ground and lakes, the road eliminates the need to construct a proper, and prohibitively expensive, infrastructure through the wilderness. Unfortunately it remains open only during a short window period during which any transportation to and from the mine must take place.”

The recovery plant, features a unique modular design which will not only facilitate its transportation to the site but also make assembling it easier. The system consists of a total of 30 modules - 18 for the plant itself as well as an additional 12 for stairways and ancillary use. The 3-stream plant will process fines, coarse and middles material and incorporates primary and secondary x-ray as well as Raven laser sorting systems. The plant also comprises a pneumatic feed system, a vacuum spillage system; dust extraction and pressurisation plant, a canning system and safe.

The bulk of the plant’s construction will take place in South Africa where it will be pre-commissioned and tested prior to being shipped to Montreal and then by rail to Edmonton. This will reduce the amount of work required to get the completed plant up and running on site. Once completed, the plant, which will measure 30 metres in height, is expected to provide a throughput of up to 4,0 tons per hour.

Adds Howard “The Snap Lake Project presented DRA with a number of challenges, not the least of which are the strict timetables for construction and transport to site as well as specialised welding and structural engineering to Canadian welding standards. However, our expertise in this area has stood us in good stead as the plant leaves our shores in November 2006.”

For further information contact:
Paul Howard
DRA Mineral Projects
Tel: +27 11 202-8600
Fax: +27 11 202-8807