Gravity Separation & Concentration Methods

Gravity Separation & Concentration Methods

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Media used for the concentration of diamonds in the pan process (2 replies and 1 comment)

G
Gerbrand
2 years ago
Gerbrand 2 years ago

Hi Guy's I am new to your site. I was reading with interest discussions on the gravemetric processes to concentrate diamonds. I see references to soil/ clay used as medium to form the dense slurry . Could you enlighten me on what materials are used for this application.? I would assume that since this slurry density is critical that a consistent clay or other medium is used to ensure consistent rhiology?

SmartDog
2 years ago
SmartDog 2 years ago

In the basic panning operation a media is not used, in that nothing is added to raw ore.  A scoop of ore is placed in a pan and this is then processed by washing it back and forth, allowing the material to overflow the edge leaving the diamonds behind.  Very similar to gold panning.  There is an older mechanized method using large flat disks where the process is somewhat automated (to the extent that automation existed at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries).  In this process a clean sand was used (look up Chance cones). 

G
Gerbrand
2 years ago
Gerbrand 2 years ago

Thanks .Much appreciated

R
richardh
2 years ago

Hi Gerband, the kimberlite overburden itself is used and the smectite clays form a type of medium. This is fairly old technology and was/still used in areas like Kimberely and once the medium is made up it is fed into 10' to 16' rotary pans. This clay medium is referred by the local term of Porrel (excuse my spelling but I'm a bit rusty in Afrikaans-porridge???) and is allowed to build up in the pan. The secret is to keep sand out as that drops out and hinders the pan operation.

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