MUSINA, South Africa The largest diamond mine in South Africa, the Venetia open pit owned by DE BEERS, has ordered a second high-performance P&H 250XP blasthole drill.
In 1999, the Venetia mine produced 3.74 million carats, or 40% of all the diamonds mined in South Africa. The two largest pipes are currently being mined as a single pit, and the remaining mine life is estimated to be 20 years. The main pipe is an irregular elongate body that strikes east-west and has maximum dimensions of 640 m by 260 m. The pipe dips at an angle of 82 to the north, intruded along the axis of a plunging anticline and follows the structure of the country rock. The country rock comprises gneiss, amphibolite and minor pegmatite of the cratonized Limpopo Mobile Belt. The pipe, dated at 500 million years old, consists largely of diatreme facies tuffisitic kimberlite breccia. Three relatively small hypabyssal facies intrusions occur close to the pipe margins.
The first 250XP went into operation in 2001, and the new one was commissioned in early July 2003. P&H MinePro credits its ability to support and service its drills at the mine site as a key factor in getting the second order. De Beers has also asked P&H to extend its maintenance program for another five years. Learn more about P&H MinePro's Life Cycle Management service at www.minepro.com.