The sorting technology is expected to help it recover larger diamonds, up to 40mm, as well as low-luminescing diamonds.
Commissioning is scheduled for this month and the first runs will come from its stockpiled kimberlite ore, which reportedly totalled 150,000t. Merlin said equipment limitations – its previous unit allowed only 20mm – kept it from obtaining larger diamonds.
Merlin, considered the company’s flagship project, went into pilot production in July 2013. Australia’s largest diamond, a 104.73 carat stone, was discovered at the Merlin mine.