Varvara Dmitrieva: The jewelry industry of Yakutia is distinguished by its creativity, unique cultural code and conservation of traditions

Varvara Dmitrieva, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Precious Stones and Metals Processing Technologies of the North-Eastern Federal University, told Rough&Polished about the results of the Forum of jewelry Craftsmanship and the prospects...

16 april 2024

Valery Budny: There is no strategy and legislation in Russia enabling the full cycle processing of precious raw materials within the country

Valery Budny, Head of the Jewelry Russia program and CEO of the JUNWEX media holding, told Rough&Polished about the results of the meeting and pressing issues in the precious metals and precious stones (PMPS) and the jewelry sectors.

11 april 2024

Paul Zimnisky: Natural diamonds face the risk of eroding their appeal if constantly discounted

New York-based independent diamond and jewellery analyst and consultant Paul Zimnisky told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview that the industry should do away with discounts. He said the industry should treat natural diamonds...

01 april 2024

Edahn Golan: Lab-grown diamond prices to continue declining

In an exclusive interview with Rough&Polished's Mathew Nyaungwa, Edahn Golan, proprietor of the eponymous Edahn Golan Diamond Research and Data, predicted that the prices of lab-grown diamonds would continue to decline, especially at the retail and...

25 march 2024

ADPA’s Ellah Muchemwa: G7 restrictions to bring extra costs from diamond mining to retail

The African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), which has openly registered its disdain for the G7’s rough diamond trade restrictions, is of the opinion that the move will bring extra costs on all stages, from mining to retail. ADPA executive...

18 march 2024

De Beers introduces autonomous mining systems at Venetia

04 october 2023

The implementation of autonomous mining systems at the Venetia underground mine in Limpopo, South Africa has the potential to produce up to 6 million tonnes of kimberlite ore per year, resulting in approximately 4 million carats of diamonds per year, according to De Beers group's managing director of operations, Moses Madondo.

He said this will occur over the next four years.

“The technologies we are implementing – some of which are under development themselves – will be gradually phased in,” Madondo was quoted as saying by IM Mining.

“Where appropriate, we will take advantage of ‘proven’ technologies first to ease the change management process, before advancing to less mature technologies thereafter.”

De Beers contracted Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions for its automated production equipment.

At first, ore will be transported to the surface using both underground and aboveground haul trucks.

As the operation progresses, the transportation systems will transition to an automatic truck loop, paired with vertical shafts for constant production.

“Our current fleet is made up of manually operated machines, which are optimised with automated task management,” said Madondo.

“This process still requires an on-board operator, although many functions are automated. The next step would be autonomous machines, operated and overseen from the surface, with our training centres already set up to deliver that.”

The production team is undergoing a pilot project to prepare for remote loading and autonomous tramming to the dump.

Testing will take place later this year and into 2024.

De Beers began the $2.3 billion expansion of the Venetia mine in 2012, which was the largest investment in South Africa's diamond mining industry in decades.

Production at the mine started in June this year when construction was only 70% complete.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished