The plant, staffed by two full-time employees plus eight part-time contract workers, processes prospecting samples collected by the De Beers Exploration team in its search for the company’s next diamond mine.
Reducing the use of fresh water is a top priority for the centre, which draws its water from a 320 cubic metre outside settling pond. Any water released from the treatment centre must meet strict discharge criteria.
Dwayne Thomson, treatment plant manager, said: “Just because we have plenty of water available, we don’t want to be wasteful. Now, for every 1,000L of water used in the plant, only 50L is fresh water.”
Worldwide, De Beers cut its use of fresh water in 2015 by 0.9% from 38.2 million cubic metres (in 2014) to 37.9 million – and has a target of reducing overall water use by 20% by 2020.