Rockwell Diamonds Inc. reports that it is "on track" to increase monthly alluvial production volumes in the Middle Orange River region to 500,000 cubic meters per month so as to improve quarterly earnings through the increased recovery of large, high-value diamonds.
The construction of two new mines, namely Saxendrift Hill Complex, which is in production, and Niewejaarskraal, which is in the ramp-up phase of production, is a key part of the new plan, notes Rockwell, which adds that total capital investment of $3.6 million for the development of these two mines was internally funded.
As part of its strategy, Rockwell says it has also successfully commissioned and operated the more efficient Bulk X-ray technology in both a concentration and recovery mode, thus obviating the need for lesser efficient and more costly pans or DMS technology.
"We have developed two new, internally funded mines, demonstrating our capability to bring new production capacity on line by making use of fit-for-purpose technology that is suited to each deposit's specific geology and by chiefly re-using existing assets," says James Campbell, Rockwell CEO and President. These two new mines will bring the company's average monthly production volumes on the Middle Orange to 360,000 cubic meters, "putting us on track towards our medium term target and also leading to improved quarterly earnings," he adds.
"Saxendrift Hill Complex is an expansion of the operations at our flagship Saxendrift Mine, where we continue to deliver a strong performance. At this new mine, which is now in production, we pioneered the implementation of the Bulk X-ray technology in the full production environment, where we are using it in both a concentration and recovery mode. We are delighted with these results, which showed a 40% increase in grade when we processed Saxendrift Extension gravels in parallel through the Bulk X-ray and the pan plant system at Saxendrift during the month of July 2013," says Campbell.
"We have commissioned the DMS plant at Niewejaarskraal and are ramping up production, which we started within ten weeks of receiving board approval for this project. While Bulk X-ray technology will be considered for future upgrades at Niewejaarskraal, we based the first phase on DMS technology. This was due to the long lead-time associated with implementing Bulk X-Ray technology there, which could not be considered for the current phase. As such, we have developed proven blue prints for processing plants that can be deployed as we grow our production profile across our existing inventory of properties in the Middle Orange River region or through acquisition," concludes Rockwell's president and CEO.