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XRT Tailings Audit Plant

Africa, Botswana

Lycopodium was retained on an EPCM basis to develop conceptual options and thereafter to design and implement an XRT Tailings Audit Plant

The Karowe Diamond Mine, owned by Lucara Diamonds, is located in the Letlhakane region some 500 km north-west of Gaberone in Botswana. Since the AK 6 pipe was opened in 2012 it has yielded over 2,000,000 carats (400 kg) of diamonds.

The mine was thrust into the international spotlight following the discovery of the Lesedi La Rona (translated means ‘Our Light’) diamond weighing 1,109 carats, measuring 65 mm x 56 mm x 40 mm on 16 November 2016 and an estimated worth over USD$65 million. The Lesedi La Rona is the largest diamond recovered using machines for automated ore sorting and processing and believed to be only the second diamond ever recovered to exceed the 1,000-carat mark, the largest being the 3,106 carat Cullinan diamond discovered more than one hundred years prior, in 1905, part of which, the Great Star of Africa, now forms part of the British royal crown jewels. Lucara’s historical discovery was followed only a day later with two more diamonds being recovered and weighing 813 and 374 carats, respectively.

The second diamond exceeding 1,000 carats in size was recovered from this mine. Lesedi La Rona weighed 1,109 carats, worth over USD$65 million.

Lycopodium was retained in 1Q16 out of the Cape Town offices on an EPCM basis to develop conceptual options and thereafter to design and implement an XRT Tailings Audit Plant scheduled for commission at the end of 2017. The scope of facilities is to modify the existing tailings conveyor transfer tower to include a 3-way splitter chute to enable a stream of tailings to be diverted through advanced X-Ray Transmission (XRT) technology sorting machines to audit the tailings stream.

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