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TOMRA Sorting´s XRT equipment has recovered world´s largest diamond found in over 100 years?

20 September 2016

Second largest diamond ever recovered with a TOMRA sorting system

This 1,111-carat diamond is the second-largest gem-quality diamond in history, and the largest precious stone ever to be recovered via a modern processing facility. Discovered in November, 2015, this magnificent gemstone is a product of Botswana’s Karowe Diamond Mine and was recovered by a TOMRA large diamond recovery (LDR) machine which utilizes X-ray transmission sensors.

Now known as Lesedi La Rona, which means "Our Light" in the Tswana language, this rare jewel is thought to be more than 2.5 billion years old and has been insured for $120 million. However, the find also signals a paradigm change in the way diamonds are processed.

Dr Volker Rehrmann, Head of TOMRA Sorting Solutions comments: “It´s an honor for us play a part in setting new benchmarks for the diamond-mining industry. We are very proud that the confidence Lucara Diamond showed in our innovative, sensor-based sorting technology has been richly rewarded with this outstanding recovery.”

Six TOMRA XRT sorters have been in operation at the Karowe Diamond Mine since May 2015, replacing the previous installation which relied upon conventional Dense Media Separation (DMS) technology. The advantages of XRT technology include its compact footprint, low operating costs, high recovery rates and extremely low concentrate yields. As a result of this ultra-efficient sorting procedure, the sorter’s concentrate requires no further processing before the final hand sorting occurs.

The qualities and potential applications of TOMRA´s X-ray transmission machines are appreciated across a broad range of industries, including within waste and metal sorting and recovery, where they are deployed in a variety of roles.

The X-TRACT, TOMRA Sorting´s recycling XRT machine, has been nominated for the German Design Award 2017. Launched in the spring in a new format, the redesigned X-TRACT is equipped with a new sensor which further boosts the machine’s performance and offers improved stability. For operators, the enhanced sorting system can secure higher purity during metal recovery, higher yield and consistent product quality, as well as ensuring the recovery of valuable and salable residual product. TOMRA Sorting Recycling's designers have achieved a further reduction in the machine's operating costs, whilst simultaneously delivering an upgrade in the quality of output fractions. New user-friendly features include a flexible and intuitive touch-screen interface for process control and adjustment. This improved specification will ensure greater yields and increased profits.

Look out for the announcement of the German Design Award winners in autumn 2016.