DiamondCorp making progress, says CEO Loudon

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) − Aim- and JSE-listed DiamondCorp has made significant steps towards its goal of being a long-term diamond producer, CEO Paul Loudon reported on Thursday.

The diamond developer and explorer has successfully re-accessed the Lace mine, near Kroonstad in the Free State, below the old workings and is now working on determining the grade and carat value at the top of the first mining block. “We expect to have this information next month,” he said in a statement.

DiamondCorp accessed kimberlite at 260 m below the surface for bulk testing. Mining to recover the bulk sample continues in a north-east direction across the pipe. The latest two sub-samples of 837 t and 630 t recovered grades of 22 carats and 30 carats per hundred tons, respectively.

To date, a total of 14 211 t of kimberlite have been processed for the recovery of 1 837 ct of diamonds. “Management are encouraged that the diamond quality remains consistent with the initial parcel, which was valued last month by the South African Diamond Exchange at an average of $205/ct,” it said.

The $205/ct valuation was 71% higher than DiamondCorp’s base case of $120/ct and 28% higher than its upper case of $160/ct.

The company previously reported that the Lace mine could cost between R100-million and R126-million to bring into full production.

Loudon also reported that DiamondCorp had started its mini bulk testing programme on two diamondiferous kimberlites near De Beers’ Jwaneng mine in Botswana.

The drilling programme aims to provide an indicative diamond grade of both kimberlite pipes by the end of the year, he said.

DiamondCorp raised £3.48-million in 2011, allowing for the bulk test at the Lace mine to continue and for the next phase of exploration in Botswana.

The developer posted a net loss of £1.17-million for the six months ended June 30, compared with a los s of £1.61-million in the prior year.

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