In diamond processing in South Africa, various fluids are used for different stages of the process. Some commonly used fluids include:
- Water: Water is used extensively in diamond processing, particularly for washing and separating diamond-bearing material from the ore or gravel. It is used in processes such as scrubbing, sieving, and washing to remove impurities and separate diamonds based on their density.
- Dense Media Separation (DMS) Suspension: DMS suspension is a dense liquid or slurry that is used in the diamond recovery process. It typically consists of a mixture of water and dense media, such as ferrosilicon or magnetite. The dense media creates a specific gravity that allows diamonds to separate from other minerals based on their density.
- X-Ray Luminescence Separation (XRL) Fluid: XRL is a diamond recovery method that utilizes the luminescent properties of diamonds. In this process, a liquid is used as a medium to detect and separate diamonds based on their luminescence response to X-ray radiation. The exact composition of the XRL fluid may vary depending on the specific technology and equipment used.
- Grease or Sticky Media: Grease or sticky media is often used in diamond recovery processes known as grease tables or grease belts. This sticky medium helps to trap and retain diamonds, which have a natural affinity for grease, while allowing other lighter minerals to be washed away. The grease is periodically cleaned and processed to recover the trapped diamonds.
- Chemical Solutions: Various chemical solutions may be used in diamond processing for tasks such as cleaning, polishing, or treating the diamonds. These solutions can include acids, detergents, or specialized chemicals designed to remove impurities, enhance clarity, or improve the appearance of the diamonds.
It’s important to note that the specific fluids and their compositions can vary depending on the diamond processing techniques employed, the nature of the diamond deposits, and the equipment and technologies used by different diamond processing companies.