In January 2014, SGS was contracted by Rio Tinto Argyle Diamond Mine to conduct maintenance testing to ensure the safety and integrity of high-voltage electrical assets for the smooth flow of electricity at the mine in Australia. Slated to start on 10 February and end on 8 April 2014, the project will see 2 engineers working on site in three intervals of 2 weeks on and 7 days off. Although SGS has been providing electrical testing services to Argyle since 2009, this marks the first collaboration with the Argyle Underground team.

Rio Tinto Argyle Diamond Mine

Located in the east Kimberley region in the remote north of western Australia, the Argyle Diamond Mine is one of the world's largest suppliers of diamonds and is the world's largest producer of natural colored diamonds. Argyle is renowned as the world’s only consistent producer of rare pink diamonds.  Commissioned in 1983, the mine has since produced more than 800 million carats of rough diamonds.
For more than 26 years the iconic Argyle ore body has been mined as an open pit. As the ore continues at great depth Argyle is focused on its future as an underground mine. By the end of 2013 the open pit was closed and the transition to a fully operational underground mining operation is underway. The Argyle underground mine will extend the mine life until at least 2020. It is a block cave mine and is one of the most technologically advanced mines in the world, providing opportunities to be at the forefront of mining technology and innovation.
Argyle Diamonds is wholly-owned and managed by Rio Tinto Limited.

SGS Sparkles with Services for Diamond Mine Project

At the Argyle site in Kimberley, SGS Engineers and Electricians are currently testing all high-voltage electrical assets found in the underground mine. These inspections include relay and circuit breaker testing, primary injection testing for the commissioning of new assets, corona inspection and thermography, a non-destructive testing method.
Thermography non-destructive inspection maps temperature differences and is therefore extremely efficient in identifying objects and components requiring preventive maintenance in order to keep processes and assets operational. At the diamond mine, thermography is being used to detect problems, prevent any unscheduled downtime, determine any needed repair or corrective actions and to increase the safety of the electrical systems.
Thermography is a non-contact and non-invasive testing method. SGS specialists using infrared technology to examine electrical systems at the Argyle mine are able to inspect many objects and large areas making thermography the perfect tool for this project. Advanced SGS thermacams are exposing defects such as loose connections, overloaded or imbalanced circuits, faulty breakers, damaged switches, flawed fuses and a wide range of other abnormalities in the electrical system providing power to the underground mine. Non-destructive thermography testing saves times and is cost-efficient.
Testing at the mine is in accordance with IEE, International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and/or AS Standards regulations as well as all relevant manufacturers specifications and contractual obligations. Test findings are helping Argyle project leaders to install quality equipment and maintain electrical mine assets in the best possible condition.

SGS Electrical Engineering

SGS offers a full range of electrical engineering services covering the commissioning test of a new plant, regular preventive maintenance and continual condition monitoring as well as condition assessment for operational plants.
SGS experts provide a wide range of testing services in order to detect defects and implement maintenance procedures. The accredited SGS quality management system ensures equipment is maintained well.
Good maintenance strategies and effective condition assessments increase asset reliability and longevity and prevent costly downtimes, protecting significant capital investment. Investors receive the best return on investment when equipment is running efficiently and assets comply with regulations in relation to safety, quality and environmental issues.

SGS Density Testing Down Under

Apart from electrical engineering services, SGS geotechnical experts have been providing Argyle with quarterly in situ density testing at the mine's tailings storage facility.  A leader in mineral testing, SGS conducts independent tests in SGS laboratories around the world. The qualitative and quantitative results from these tests provide information vital to the success of a construction, industrial or mining operation. All SGS test results are recognized worldwide and comply with various national and international standards.
SGS is pleased to once again service this prestigious partner and looks forward to assisting at other Rio Tinto sites in the future.

For further information, please contact:

SGS Industrial Services
Kaushal Shah
Electrical Engineering Business Manager
SGS Australia Pty
5 Yelland Way
Bassendean WA 6054
t: +61 8 9378 0111
f: +61 8 9378 0199

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.