Friday, December 4, 2020

De Beers takes its technologies to the market

Debtech, the De Beers technology wing, is planning to commercialise some of its earth cutting technologies as part of the initiative aimed at bolstering the cashflow of its operations, the company said last week.

“We are looking at other means of selling┬ásome of the technologies that we have developed,” head of Debtech, Domingos Valbom,┬ásaid.

The┬á company is already thinking of┬á commercialising the┬á ScannexÔÇöa hi-tech┬ásecurity scanning machineÔÇö the use of which has been restricted to Namibia and South African operations of De Beers.

The machine is likely to get┬ásupport from the┬ámarket┬áat a time when the┬áworld is┬áconstantly on alert against terror attacks. The machine is able to screen┬áthe full body ÔÇô including intestines ÔÇô without any physical search as it is currently done at airports.

Scannex is the most advanced screening machine in the world and its radiation dosage can be monitored. The machine is currently marketed around the world and can be adopted to the world outside mining such as airports and hospitals, among others.

“We┬áhave an agreement with an American company that is helping us to get┬áit licensed┬áout there for us,” Valbom said.

“What we have is a very simple structure and we do not want to add any structure,” he added.
Some of the technologies that the┬ácompany has developed include the Aquarium┬áat Jwaneng mine┬áand the Dense Media Separation (DMS) ÔÇô which is now being marketed to┬ámines outside the diamond┬áindustry.

The Johannesburg technology based┬áoutfit is also credited for the powering of the Vessel┬ácalled “Peace in Africa”, which is┬ácurrently mining in┬ádeep waters of Namibia along the Atlantic Ocean. The┬ádevelopment is the first of its kind in the history of diamond┬ámining.

Some of the technologies that have been developed by Debtech are being sold to competitors, other mining houses, such as African Diamonds, which aims to use it at its AK6 mine near Orapa.

Further, the company is┬áat an advanced stage of developing a robot that┬áwill be used in sorting of diamondsÔÇöa move that will work wonders in terms of┬ácutting down on costsÔÇöespecially those associated with┬ámanpower.

 The robot, which is still being tested at Debtech offices near De Beers headquarters in Johannesburg, is going to revolutionarise the diamond industry and will also reduce chances of theft.

De Beers is 45 percent held by Anglo American, 40 percent by Oppenheimer family while the remaining 15 percent belongs to Botswana government.

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