Page 113 - Hub Issue 54
P. 113

Crushing & Screening
Terex Finlay Screens are flawless gems for Steyn Diamante
You may be forgiven if you haven’t heard of the Schutsekama Diamond Mine on the Riet River near the village of Ritchie, which lies south of Kimberley. It is not a mine where the skyline is dominated by a shaft tower. Here in fact, the only raised portion shows four large red mobile Finlay Screens processing a constant stream of rock, gravel and sand that is separated onto different moving belts which spew the material into heaps.
Archaeological data shows that the narrow Riet River ran a lot wider some centuries ago. Alluvial diamonds from as far as the present day Jagersfontein and Koffiefontein were pushed into the surrounding areas as the river flooded the plain en route to joining the Vaal River further downstream.
This is where Schalk Steyn of Steyn Diamante, doyen of alluvial diamond mining in South Africa, established one of his mining operations in 2015. The Schutsekama Mine Manager is Wikus de Winnaar and we asked him what makes their mining methods work in that area.
“Compared to traditional alluvial mining methods, we’ve gone considerably bigger on this site using a 240-tonne excavator
for loading 100-tonne rigid dump trucks. They, in turn, deposit the diamond-bearing gravel onto stockpiles from where huge 50t excavators feed the material into Finlay 893 Screens for separation,” he explains. “Anything larger than 125mm is returned to the mining pit to form the basis of rehabilitation and finer material than that is sent to the processing plant.”
“During April 2018, we fed 159 957 tonnes of run-of-mine material through three Finlay 893 Screens or which proves that we couldn’t mine so sustainably and on such a large scale if it weren’t for our fleet of Finlay 893 Screens. We have four in a row here but use only three actively, keeping the fourth in reserve for when any of the others need maintenance. Regular rotation also takes place so that
the load is spread amongst the four machines.”
The Schutsekama mine works daytime shifts from Monday to Saturday with month-end long weekends. Machine hours are clocked relentlessly, especially on the Finlay 893
Screens. At the time of writing, the newest machine showed 340 hours and the oldest 5 477
hours.
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