Consulmet is a pioneer in diamond technology

The process engineering company Consulmet has consolidated its position as a leading global expert in the diamond sector over the past 10 years.

This can be largely attributed to the forward-looking and confident stance of the company on adopting new technologies to improve the operating economy and increase profits – an outcome that has brought tremendous benefits to diamond miners in Africa and to overseas, said chief executive Derek Lahee. Laura Cornwall.

While the conservative nature of the mining industry has often scared it away from new and untested technologies, Consulmet has positioned itself as the bridge that connects conventional approaches with the equipment and process innovations that have enabled operating mines improve their results.

This article first appeared in Africa Mining Review Number 11 2018

“With a flexible team of process engineering experts, many of whom specialize in the diamond industry, we are able to recognize the benefits that new technologies have to offer, fully embrace them and have proven over and over again. times that they can be successfully integrated into existing processes. plants, ”Lahee says.

This position has been particularly beneficial for the diamond sector which has achieved enormous advantages associated with technologies to improve diamond recovery – especially for large stones through X-ray transmission (XRT), ray technology. Bulk X and waste sorting technology.

“XRT has only recently become a staple technology in the field, but it’s something we’ve incorporated into our designs over the past 10 years. As such, we have become true experts in understanding how this technology can deliver optimal results for our clients’ operations, even in difficult African conditions, ”Lahee points out.

In addition, the Managing Director points out that the engineering methodology and flexible structure of the company provide additional benefits to the diamond mining industry, which in particular require cost-effective, agile and rapid solutions.

“We remain in favor of turnkey fixed-price projects that reduce customer risk and demonstrate the confidence we have in our skills and abilities. And while we have grown significantly over the past decade (from 20 to around 500 design / build and operate staff today), we haven’t introduced an unnecessary hierarchy into the organization. and therefore we are able to adapt quickly and deliver quick turnaround times. . “

Keeping its model looking to the future, the company introduced its own in-house-developed single-particle x-ray sorter, ‘superior’ 3D modeling capabilities (at a speed unmatched in the industry) and even its own software. maintenance program she designed for Lucara Diamond. Corp.’s Karowe mine in Botswana.

“We are also considering integrating near infrared waste sorting technology into one of our ongoing projects. Mechanical platforms have now reached the point where this technology can be implemented and we are confident that it will significantly reduce operating costs while further improving the diamond recovery process.

Exceptional years

In 2017, Consulmet installed the first XRT machine in Angola for Lucapa Diamond which soon after saw the company recover a 404-carat stone.

“The success we have had with this application really demonstrates how XRT technology can be applied successfully in remote environments. “

Last year, the company also installed XRTs at a diamond mining operation based in Sierra Leone, which reduced the size of the DMS circuit. “The operation also recovered a 476-carat Type II A diamond using XRT, further enhancing XRT’s ability to operate in harsh conditions.

The projects are proof that we know how to integrate these machines into any processing application. We also offer operator training and operating contracts to manage these machines on behalf of our customers.

This year, the company is resuming a project started in 2017 for Amulet Diamond Corporation, which included the delivery of a 100,000 t bulk sample for its BK11 project following the renovation of the on-site processing plant.

The company hopes to advance the project into commercial production with the incorporation of a log washer – old technology but one that has potential through improved building materials and modern practices.

“We are also delivering the entire 150 tph plant for the Mothae de Lucapa project in Lesotho, which has been customized for large stone recovery. This is a 10 month project and is on track to process the first ore imminently. “

Looking ahead, Lahee reveals that the company is working on a number of potential new diamond projects across Africa, from Namibia and Sierra Leone to Angola and the DRC as well as Australia.

Lahee concludes by noting that the deployment of XRT technology could genuinely reopen / expand alluvial diamond mining opportunities along the Middle Orange River and hopes to be the catalyst that awakens the sector in the Northern Cape region.

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