The Angolan diamond industry is set to benefit from the introduction of Gekko Systems’ inline pressure jig (IPJ).
Plans to expand SDM’s Janange 1 plant in the Lunda Norte region of Angola include the installation of Gekko’s IPJ 2400 for the pre-concentration of diamondiferous alluvial gravels. The SDM company is a joint venture between Endiama EP (the national diamond company of Angola) and Odobrecht Engineering (a Brazilian-based civil construction company that also operates the Catoca diamond mine).
Russell Heins, manager of RSA operations and sales for Gekko Systems, is excited about both the project and the relationship with SDM. “This is the first IPJ in Angola. The Angolan diamond industry is growing and has, at present, a diversity of operations which could benefit from the IPJ,” he said. “These applications range from increasing installed capacity [and] improving DMS feed quality to use in small mobile alluvial sample plants.”
The IPJ arrived on-site and was recently commissioned with tests yielding exceptionally good diamond and value recoveries through the IPJ. It will be used as a preconcentrating device and will allow the plant to increase the tonnage of river gravel that is mined, thus increasing the carats produced from this section of the operation.
“Based on the future mine plan, the decision to install the IPJ was made after it became clear that there was a shortage of installed DMS capacity at our Janange operations,” said Denis Boska, metallurgy manager for SDM. “After looking at all the possibilities, the IPJ clearly presented itself as the most suitable option in terms of performance, security, ease of operation and installation into our existing flow sheet. The advantages over constructing and operating an additional DMS were significant compared to the labour and other operational costs that such a plant would have required.”
The river gravel reporting to the DMS feed contains significant quantities of vegetation and other undesirable material. The IPJ will remove this material, thus minimising and improving downstream processing. “We are expecting very good efficiency from the IPJ in this application,” said Russell.
“The gravel at the Janange 1 site is fairly typical of Angolan alluvial gravels, and the successful installation at the SDM plant will therefore open the door for other operators to benefit from the application of IPJ technology, saving them money on operating costs and increasing carats recovered.