Diamcor Mining has begun operations at its Krone-Endora at Venetia project in Limpopo using a new larger fleet of Caterpillar heavy equipment.

With the new equipment in place, the company aims to provide improved reliability to the project as well as lower operating costs.

The equipment, which will also support the company’s planned increases in processing volumes in the future, consists of large excavator models, articulated dump trucks (ADT’s), front end loaders, bulldozers, among others.

Diamcor Mining also noted that additional provisions are underway to increase the size of the Krone-Endora project’s standby power capacities by replacing two smaller generators with one larger unit from Caterpillar.

Diamcor Mining CEO Dean Taylor said: “We are confident the new equipment fleet will enhance the project’s advancement in all areas, and enable us to better achieve our stated goals, and increase processing volumes in a meaningful way moving forward.

“While the processing of tailings delivered a lower dollar per carat average than what we would typically see historically, it served a valuable purpose of validating our new operating plan to remediate past deficiencies and reduce operating costs through assessing and implementing the ideal field equipment for the long term.”

The company also announced the completion of the processing of tailings material and finalised the delivery of about 4,500 carats of rough diamonds for tender and sale in the coming weeks.

Diamcor Mining will also process the larger material previously stockpiled during the development of the project’s in-field screening plant.

The Krone-Endora at Venetia Project was acquired by the company in February 2011 from De Beers Consolidated Mines.

In December 2015, Diamcor Mining installed a deposit specific crushing circuit, along with Tomra XRT diamond recovery technology to process material in the +26.0mm size fractions at the project.