The Bakerville diamond mine in South Africa has commenced production, IGE Resources reported.
The first phase of production, which focuses on potholes identified in the license, was successfully commissioned with the diamond treatment plant achieving an average throughput of 120 tons per hour of run-of-mine material for the past two weeks on 24 hours per day operations.
The initial pothole material processed so far is diamondiferous, IGE stated. The upper three meter layers mined and excavations to date indicate the pothole extends further than previously established by the drilling program. Further results will be announced in the first quarter of 2012 once sufficient material has been processed to establish representative grades and diamond values.
Previous recoveries from Bakerville indicate that production will have an average market value of approximately $500 per carat. The company expects operational costs to range between $220 to $320 per carat during the initial phase, with a declining mining cost throughout the mine’s life span.
IGE currently holds a 55 percent stake of the Bakerville mining license with 26 percent held by a Black Economic Empowerment company (BEE). Local investors hold the remaining 19 percent. The ownership structure of the Harts River diamond project in South Africa is identical, IGE explained. The company will make a decision by September, 2012 regarding its option to purchase the 19 percent shareholdings in Bakerville and Harts River for $2.5 million, which will bring its ownership in these two projects to 74 percent.