TSX-V-listed junior diamond miner Diamcor Mining has started using a new, larger fleet of Caterpillar heavy mining equipment at its Krone-Endora at Venetia project, based next to diamond miner De Beers’ Venetia mine, in Limpopo.
Diamcor started off by processing tailings material at Krone-Endora.
The new equipment will provide it with improved reliability, lower operating costs and support its planned increases in processing volumes going forward.
The equipment is comprised of a full complement of large excavator models, articulated dump trucks, front-end loaders, bulldozers and various other smaller support equipment.
The company confirms that additional provisions are also under way to increase the size of the project’s standby power capacities by replacing two smaller generators with one larger, more efficient unit from Caterpillar to limit shortfalls in power supply and processing downtime for the long term.
“We are confident that the new equipment fleet will enhance the Krone-Endora project’s advancement in all areas, and enable us to better achieve our stated goals.
“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,” says Diamcor CEO Dean Taylor.
Meanwhile, the diamond producer has finalised the delivery of about 4 500 ct of rough diamonds from the conclusion of tailings processing efforts for tender and sale in the coming weeks.
Rough diamonds recovered and delivered for tender and sale moving forward will again be from quarrying and trial mining exercises using the new equipment and are expected to better mirror historical results in terms of size frequency distribution and the average dollar per carat values achieved.
The company says it will focus on the processing of larger material previously stockpiled during the development of the project’s in-field screening plant, and an increase in the volume of this material being introduced through the large diamond recovery circuit.
Diamcor in February 2011 acquired the Krone-Endora prospecting area from De Beers, consisting of three prospecting rights over the farms Krone 104 and Endora 66. The farms have a combined surface area of about 5 900 ha.
The deposits which occur on the properties of Krone and Endora have been identified as a higher-grade alluvial basal deposit – which is covered by a lower-grade upper eluvial deposit.
The deposits are proposed to be the result of the direct-shift (in respect to the eluvial deposit) and erosion (in respect to the alluvial deposit) of material from the higher grounds of the adjacent Venetia kimberlite areas.
The deposits on Krone-Endora area occur in two layers with a maximum total depth of about 15 m from surface to bedrock, allowing for a very low-cost mining operation to be employed with the potential for near-term diamond production from a known high-quality source.