Paragon Diamonds has placed its Konoma Alluvial mine on care and maintenance after the Sierra Leone government requested the company reapply for its mining license on the site.
“The Company will continue to seek clarification on the irregularities surrounding these issues – particularly as the licenses under discussion were issued as valid until April 2016, and are not subject to any renewal at this time,” said Stephen Grimmer, managing director of Paragon. “In addition we continue to seek a response to previous requests to the Ministry to re-structure our mining license holdings in Sierra Leone.”
The company explained that it has no further investments in Sierra Leone since the cessation of operations, and has reduced its operating costs to the minimum necessary to maintain its physical assets and the few remaining staff in-country.
Paragon’s focus has therefore shifted to its Lemphane and Motete kimberlite projects in Lesotho.
“The potential exists in Lesotho to rapidly develop a diamond resource far exceeding the stated mineral assets in Sierra Leone,” Grimmer said.
Earlier, Stellar Diamonds said it received similar notification from the government revoking its Kono licenses.