Metallurgical Services

Metallurgical Services is part of DebTech, a De.Beers R&D division. The unit aims to merge a multitude of specialised metallurgical skills and services that translate to enhanced process efficiencies, operational effectiveness and, ultimately, improved revenue.

The list of services includes: metallurgical simulation tools; long term analytical studies; operational support; training and plant audits among others. These services can be targeted during capital projects for improved conceptual flow sheet design that is fit for purpose or for operational optimisation and troubleshooting. Service offerings can be divided into the following categories, which can be customised to client needs:

Support Services

Ore dressing studies (ODS) for plant design, upgrade or optimisation

  • Design disappointments will be minimised with prior knowledge of the ore properties
  • Understanding your ore and its characteristics as well as correctly selecting appropriate equipment, operational parameters and equipment settings. An ODS can answer the following questions:
    • What are the comminution characteristics?
    • What DMS yields should be expected?
    • Should it be a single or split DMS?
    • Is the ore luminescent for X-ray recovery or will alternate technology be required?
    • What are the downstream effects?
    • Will the thickener circuit maximise water recovery?

Upfront answers increase plant design quality

Resource to reserve conversion input

  • Calculating the metallurgical recovery factors required to assist in converting a resource to a reserve

Technical Consulting

Sample audits for plant assurance

  • Ensuring the integrity and reliability of data generated through technical quality control and the assurance of bulk-sampling plant processing
  • “Snap shot” sample auditing as an indicator e.g. determining diamond loss possibilities through recovery treatment of plant tailings under extremely sensitive laboratory conditions
  • Determining plant effciency through composite sampling audits, which entail longer-term collection of one or more streams using statistical analysis tools

Characterisation and treatment services

  • Establishing changes in ore properties and their impact on the overall process plant; and recommending, in collaboration with the different process specialists, solutions for anticipated challenges
  • Backing appropriate equipment selections and operational parameters with meaningful data, increasing plant effectiveness and diamond recovery effciency
  • Facilitating recommendations for flow sheet enhancements and throughput optimizations e.g. can upfront magnetic bulk reduction allow for improved X-ray throughputs and recovery effciencies
  • Characterising typical metallurgical properties – including densimetric analysis, magnetic susceptibility, luminescence intensity, shore hardness, t10, ta, slimes characteristics, etc

Metallurgical simulation

  • Allowing “what if” scenarios, without tampering with production processes, as a planning and predictive tool to implement smarter and more proactive process control
  • Reducing risk related to tuning online equipment
  • Providing quick analysis prior to construction; saving time and capital
  • Allowing design and engineering refinements
  • Evaluating the entire process; providing a global picture
  • Identifying problems in advance and timeously applying corrective measures
  • Identifying potential bottlenecks in the process through capacity constraints of certain equipment components
  • Trade off studies e.g. the easy evaluation of production rates vs. the potential loss in revenue


DebTech is an ISO 9001 certified Company