Diamond sorting upgrade at mine

May 2003 Products

Swisslog SA recently completed its fourth upgrade of the diamond sorting operation at Southern Era Resources' Klipspringer Diamond Mine near Potgietersrus.

A total of eight glove boxes in the mine's sort house, in which diamond concentrate is hand sorted, are now served by three separate Swisslog-supplied Airco Air Tube systems. When the original system was installed five years ago, it was the first of its kind to be deployed on a South African diamond mine.

"This latest contract involved the installation of air-propelled diamond transportation systems for two additional glove boxes, similar to those already in operation," said Swisslog MD John Meiring. Diamond concentrate from a series of five hoppers is fed into the glove boxes for hand sorting. Final product is then placed in carriers, which are propelled at 8 m/sec through 110 mm diameter PVC tubing to a storage safe, prior to identification and valuation.

"These Swisslog materials handling systems are essential to the security of our diamond sorting operation," said sorthouse controller David Greyvenstein.

"The systems ensure that the mine's diamonds are moved securely, swiftly and efficiently. Custom-designed software controls the transportation process, and constantly monitors the air pressure to ensure tube integrity," said Meiring.

Swisslog Air Tube systems are also extensively used in South Africa's retail, commercial and pharmaceutical sectors, for the secure transportation of 'sensitive items', including cash, negotiable documents, drugs and laboratory specimens.

For more information contact John Meiring, Swisslog, 011 699 0000.





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