Debtech, the De Beers technology wing,┬áis planning to commercialise some of its earth cutting┬átechnologies as part of┬áthe 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┬áis the most advanced┬áscreening machine in the world and its radiation dosage can be monitored. The┬ámachine is currently marketed┬áaround the┬áworld┬áand can be adopted to the world outside mining┬ásuch 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┬áhave been developed by Debtech are being sold to┬ácompetitors, other mining houses,┬ásuch as African Diamonds,┬áwhich 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.
┬áThe robot,┬áwhich is still being tested at Debtech offices near De Beers headquarters┬áin Johannesburg,┬áis going to revolutionarise the┬ádiamond┬áindustry and will also┬áreduce chances of theft.
De Beers is┬á45 percent held by Anglo American, 40 percent by Oppenheimer family while the remaining 15 percent belongs to Botswana government.