Tomra helps recover massive 227-carat Lucapa diamond

Image: Lucapa Diamond

Lucapa Diamond’s recent recovery of a 227-carat stone from the Lulo mine in Angola was assisted by an X-ray transmission (XRT) sorting technology developed by Norway’s Tomra.

The diamond is the largest stone that has been recovered at the newly commissioned XRT large diamond recovery circuit at Lulo, which is operated by Australian-listed Lucapa. It is also Angola’s second largest recorded diamond.

Lucapa’s large diamond recovery circuit at Lulo, which includes a Tomra sorting unit, started commercial operations, processing oversized alluvial gravels in December last year.

As part of the new coarse recovery stream at the 15-tonne per hour diamond plant, the XRT technology has provided the Lulo operation with the capability to recover individual diamonds up to 1100 carats.

The XRT sorting technology is significantly more effective for the recovery of higher quality low-luminescing Type IIa diamonds, according to Tomra.

Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall commented: “The recovery of the 227-carat diamond using the new XRT circuit justifies our investment in TOMRA´s large diamond recovery technology, which has more than paid for itself with the recovery of this one stone alone.

“We had already seen what the implementation of this XRT technology delivered for Lucara in Botswana, enabling the recovery of the second largest diamond ever by the Karowe mine, Botswana, in November 2015.”

Tomra launched a new range of diamond recovery solutions to provide higher diamond recoveries at lower yields at the beginning of 2014. The solutions enable complex recovery plants to be simplified and streamlined, with the result being lower running costs, according to the company.

Geoffrey Madderson, Tomra Segment Manager Diamonds, said: “TOMRA’s XRT diamond recovery technology has yielded another diamond of exceptional size and quality, and is proud to have delivered it to the Lucapa-operated Lulo mine in Angola.”

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