Mining and Treatment Plant Practice at the Finsch Mine, De Beers Consolidated Mines, Limited

Loftus, W. K. B. ; Stucke, H. J. ; Rankin, D.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 44
Publication Date: Unavailable
SYNOPSIS Planning for the Finsch opencast mine is described with particular reference to the proposed stages of mining, the method used to determine the limits of surface waste rock stripping and the derivation of the waste rock mining rate. Actual mining practice is described and the possibility of installing a skipway into the open mine at a later date is discussed. In addition, the waste dumping policy is referred to: this includes the cutting of slots through the hill on the west side of the pipe to increase tramming speeds. The crushing, washing and recovery sections of the treatment plant are described together with the various changes being made to the circuit. The most important of these are the installation of X-ray sorters for the final recovery of + 7 mesh diamonds, and the vibrating grease belt for the recovery of - 7 mesh diamonds. INTRODUCTION The Finsch Mine, a subsidiary of De Beers Consolidated Mines, Limited, is situated approximately 90 miles west of Kimberley, and some two miles from the village of Lime Acres, in the Northern Cape. Lime Acres is a company village shared with the Northern Lime Company which operates a limestone quarry and works near the township. The mine is near the southern end of a well mineralized belt producing limestone, asbestos, diamonds, manganese and iron ore, and the whole area has developed rapidly in the last 20 years. Power for mining operations is drawn from the Electricity Supply Commission. The mine is conveniently close to the main Kimberley-Postmasburg railway line. Water is drawn from the Vaal River through a 57 mile State-owned pipeline at present temporarily operated by mine staff. DISCOVERY AND PROSPECTING OPERATIONS The diamondiferous orebody is situated on the farm Brits, which is State-owned ground that has been leased to the Company for the period of mining operations. There are indications of interest in the area by prospectors (Richter, de Bruin and others) over a period of some 30 years and the discovery would possibly have been made years earlier but for a law preventing prospecting for precious stones on State-owned land. Although the pipe formed a clear depression on the hill where it was situated, it was overlain by some 5 to 40 ft of banded ironstone rubble which was washed into the depression from the hillside above the pipe and obscured the deposit. In 1958, Mr Allister Thornton Fincham applied for, and was granted, the right to prospect for base minerals on the farm Brits. Asbestos is known to occur in the area and, initially, was Mr Fincham's primary interest. However, during the prospecting operations, garnets were discovered and it was realised that diamonds might be present. In 1960, when the Precious Stones Amendment Act was passed, a company
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