Lucapa Diamond Company has announced that after a successful commissioning phase, the new XRT large diamond recovery circuit at Angola has began commercial operation by processing oversize alluvial gravels.
Known as Lulo Diamond Project, the site is operated by Lucapa with its partners Empresa Nacional de Diamantes and Rosas & Petals.
The XRT technology and larger screens can recover individual diamonds up to 1,100 carats.
The new technology is also more effective for recovery of higher quality low-luminescing Type IIa diamonds.
Lulo mining company Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (SML) began stockpiling all oversize material in February this year after recovery of the 404 carat '4th February Stone', which was sold for $16m.
The oversize stockpile totals nearly 20,000 bulk cubic metres (bcm).
Lucapa chief executive Stephen Wetherall said that commissioning of the new XRT circuit starts a new phase in the development of the Lulo Diamond Project.
Wetherall said: “We have seen what the implementation of this XRT technology delivered for Lucara, allowing their Karowe mine in Botswana to recover the second largest diamond ever.
“We are excited to have this XRT recovery technology now fully commissioned as part of our coarse material processing stream at Lulo, where we have already recovered five +100 carat diamonds this year.
"As well as treating the oversize or coarse gravels from daily mining operations, we will selectively process the 20,000bcm of stockpiled oversize material over time.”