Southern African diamond mining company DiamondCorp said its diamond sales schedule has been revised to start in Antwerp at the end of this month and then continue monthly for the rest of the year. In a project update on activities at the Lace diamond mine in the Free State Province of South Africa, it said that production from the first mining block on the 310m underground level at the Lace mine successfully restarted last month and is proceeding at the planned rate of 30,000 tons per month. August will see the first month of commercial production, and processing of kimberlite mined for the month to date is averaging 31 carats per hundred tons (cpht) in line with the base case forecast for this first mining block.
"The quality of the diamonds recovered from fresh kimberlite continues to be impressive, with a good proportion of clean sawable stones in all size fractions, including type IIa diamonds," it said in a statement. The firm added that a search is underway to recruit a Finance Director and new non-executive directors, "who can strengthen the company's board and deliver improved operational and financial control now that it is in commercial production."
Diamonds recovered from the mining of the slot and diamonds recovered from tailings retreatment operations are currently undergoing the export process to Antwerp for the next diamond sale at the end of August. The sale is expected to be of approximately 7,000 carats, which is slightly lower in total numbers than forecast due to sale of parcels in Johannesburg during the export process in June (which comprised 1,838 carats of run-of-mine kimberlite diamonds and 1,679 carats of tailings diamonds), and the shutdown of operations in July due to the fall of ground accident. Subsequent sales are forecast to be in the order of 9,000-12,000 carats depending on monthly grade fluctuations.