Just about a year ago, the executive chairman of Botswana Diamonds John Teeling told us, "Instead of being an explorer, I would like to be a producer. We would like to get to production." According to yesterday's announcment from Botswana Diamonds, it looks as if he is going to get his wish: the junior miner said is on track to commence bulk sampling and become a diamond producer by mid-2019.
Arctic Star Exploration Corp. of Vancouver has begun this year’s exploration program at the 40% owned Diagras joint venture diamond property in Lac des Gras, Northwest Territories, Canada (NWT). Margaret Lake Diamonds holds the remaining 60% and is the project operator. Preliminary results have been "encouraging."
Canadian junior miner Star Diamond Corp. has reported "unusually high proportions of Type IIa diamonds" at its kimberlite diamond project in Saskatchewan, and investors did not fail to notice, sending its shares soaring almost 15% on the news, closing at 24 Canadian cents.
UK-based and AIM and BSE listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds, one of the most prolific diamond exploration and project development companies around, intersected 12 kimberlites from 18 holes drilled as part of its first phase of the intensification drilling program at the company's flagship Thorny River project in South Africa. The junior miner said drilling is now complete on the farm Hartbeesfontein bulk sampling target of 1.5 km of kimberlite fissure intersection were also identified.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Co. held the first sale of diamonds at the Bonas tender house in Antwerp from the new 1.1Mtpa Mothae kimberlite plant in Lesotho, marking the mine's arrival on the international market. The parcel of 5,411 carats of rough diamonds recovered during the plant ramp-up phase in Q4 2018 and in the first month of commercial mining operations at Mothae in January 2019 sold at tender in Antwerp for a total of US$3.8 million.
BlueRock Diamonds, an AIM-listed junior miner which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has recovered its largest diamond to date: a 16.28 carat gem-quality stone. It is 4.58 carats larger than the next largest diamond the miner has recovered. On Monday, the company announced it has raised an aggregate of £575,000 ($740,000) through a placement.
RJK Explorations, a mineral exploration company with a focus on diamonds, gold, silver and base metals with its resource properties located in Ontario and Newfoundland, is planning to search for the source of the 800-Carat Nipissing Yellow Diamond in southeastern Ontario. The Bishop Nipissing Diamond Project came about when RJK entered into a property option agreement with Anthony “Tony” Bishop for the Bishop Nipissing Diamond Properties, exploration properties totaling 2,090 hectares encompassing at least 18 potential kimberlite pipes, according to a press release.
South Africa's Mining Charter III "heaps more pain on South Africa’s alluvial diamond producers who already face enormous cost burdens and high risks," writes Gert van Niekerk, Chairman of the South African Diamond Producer’s Organisation in a recent opinion peice in Mining Review Africa.
BlueRock Diamonds plc, the AIM-listed junior mining company which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has recommenced operations after South Africa's mining regulator ordered a temporary suspension on January 24 following an accident. The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) imposed a section 54 notice - which concerns the code of practice relating to the operation of trackless mining machines - following an event involving an external contractor.
Junior miner Botswana Diamonds (BD) has acquired Alrosa's 50% share in the Sunland Minerals project for a "nominal sum". BD's 100% ownership of Sunland now enables a new investor to enter as a new joint venture partner, and they say that negotiations with this potential partner are at an advanced stage. The potential partner is said to be a large diamond producer with new ideas and keen to find new kimberlites in Botswana.
UK-listed Botswana Diamonds said it is feeling "confident" that its Thorny River project in South Africa will become its first operating mine following the conclusion of a mining contract covering bulk sampling activities and future full-scale mining. The necessary regulatory approvals have been applied for, and a drilling program is planned in 2019. Managing Director, James AH Campbell the company hopes to get production rolling during the first half of 2019.
After a four-year wait, Star Diamond Corp. - formerly called Shore Gold Inc. - has received the green light from the provincial government to build a diamond mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, bringing to an end what is believed to be the longest environmental approval process in province history. The Star-Orion Diamond Project was first proposed by Shore Gold Inc. in 1995.
CEO of Australia’s Lucapa Diamond Company, Stephen Wetherall, paid a visit to Antwerp recently, where The Diamond Loupe caught up with him. We encountered an optimistic CEO that is clearly excited about the future of Lucapa, and justifiably so. The growing miner operates, together with its partners in Angola, the highest-value and most promising alluvial diamond project in the world - the Lulo Diamond Project.
Tango Mining Limited, a Canadian diversified junior mining company with several projects in southern Africa, has been busy expanding its portfolio of diamond projects. Tango is the lead company at the Oena diamond mine in South Africa, as well as Txapemba, an 84 sq km concession in Angola that Tango took operational control of last October. It also recently acquired 75% of the Middlepits project - an alluvial diamond property in Botswana, which it will not be responsible for mining - and has now signed new agreements in Angola and Liberia.
Canadian diversified junior mining company Tango Mining has sold a 42.26 carat diamond recovered from run of mine (ROM) gravel in the alluvial Oena Diamond Mine in the Republic of South Africa for $476,143, or $11,267 per carat, on tender at the Kimberley Diamond Exchange.
BlueRock Diamonds, a junior miner listed on AIM in London and operating the Kareevlei Diamond mine near Kimberley in South Africa, announced its production increased significantly in 2017, yielding high-quality diamonds with an average value per carat of $362. The miner said that it met its two primary targets in 2017 – operational profitability and monthly processing volume of 25,000 tons, which unearthed 2,438 carats in the first half of the year, compared with 543 carats, a year earlier.
Junior miner Botswana Diamonds has been awarded the priority 2.5 hectare Mooikloof kimberlite pipe concession close to De Beers’ flagship Venetia Mine, the company today announced. Mooikloof is a known 2.5 hectare diamondiferous kimberlite pipe last prospected in 1986 and fits into Botswana Diamonds’ strategy of undertaking fresh exploration work with modern techniques in areas where they had been found and mined before. The adjacent Oaks mine was previously owned and successfully operated by De Beers, achieving a grade of 53 cpht at a value of $156.
John Teeling is the executive chairman of Botswana Diamonds PLC, one of the most prolific diamond exploration and project development companies that holds exploration licences in Botswana and South Africa. With 40 years worth of resources experience, he is often called a ‘serial entrepreneur’, and is involved in a number of other AIM exploration companies. Notably, he was the founder of African Diamonds, which discovered the AK6 mine in Botswana, a venture that eventually became Lucara's famous Karowe Mine. The Lucara Diamond Corp.
Pangolin Diamonds Corp.,a diamond exploration company in Botswana, has recovered two diamonds and 100 positive kimberlite indicators from a 4 hectare soil sampling grid at the MAL 001 drill target located in the company's wholly-owned Malatswae Project. The recovery is the second positive result the junior miner has announced in the past two weeks, following the companies first diamond at the Jwaneng South Diamond Project, Botswana.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD), the AIM and BSE listed explorer, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vast Resources, the AIM-listed mining company with operating mines in Romania and Zimbabwe for the exploitation of diamonds in Zimbabwe. Under the agreement, the two companies will exchange past exploration information on areas prospective for diamonds in Zimbabwe and form a jointly-owned special purpose vehicle to develop and exploit diamond resources. Both companies now have a Zimbabwe diamond database.
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed junior diamond miner Trans Hex has agreed to terms for the sale of its Baken and Bloeddrif mines, both of which are situated on the banks of the lower Orange River (LOR) in South Africa, to Lower Orange River Diamonds Proprietary Limited for $6 million (R72m) in cash, and its shareholders appreciated the gesture. Miningmx reports that speculation on the deal drove Trans Hex's share price up 52% ahead of yesterday’s announcement which came after the close of trading on the JSE.
Pangolin Diamonds Corp. has signed an option agreement to earn up to a 75% interest in the diamondiferous AK10 diamond project located in Botswana, situated just 4 km from the now famous AK06/Karowe mine. “I am extremely pleased with this transaction", said Dr. Leon Daniels, President and CEO of Pangolin.
The Lucapa Diamond Company has announced it has secured major investment backing from a new cornerstone investor and existing shareholders to advance its diamond projects and continue delivering on its growth strategy. The US$12.7 million (A$16.5 million) placement, at no discount to market price, will enable Lucapa to immediately launch an extensive follow-up exploration program, including further drilling, at the Brooking diamond discovery in Western Australia’s West Kimberley region, the company states.
Eira Thomas was recently appointed as the new CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp., replacing William Lamb, who oversaw the successful creation of the world-class Karowe mine in Botswana. Thomas brings more than 25 years’ experience in the mining industry to Lucara, including 16 years with Aber Diamond Corporation (now Dominion Diamond), where she played an integral role as a geologist at its initial discovery and ultimately became Director of the Board.
Botswana Diamonds has reported pre-tax losses of $251,000 (£178,000) for the six months ended 31 December 2017, compared with $192,000 (£136, 000) a year earlier. The losses were due to administrative costs as the company continues with its exploration for diamonds in Botswana and South Africa. Botswana Diamonds raised $705,000 (£500,000) earlier this year to fund the ongoing exploration activities.
Stellar Diamonds and Australia's Newfield Resources (NWF) have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all-share offer by Newfield to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Stellar, a deal worth an estimated $10.8 million. The Australian company will lend Stellar US$3 million to help it over its immediate short-term cash needs, while undertaking a right issue to raise A$30 million (US$23.6m) to re-finance the enlarged group. Stellar Diamonds' chief executive Karl Smithson recently spoke about the “extremely difficult” market for junior miners to raise new funds,
Peregrine Diamonds, a Vancouver-based junior miner with exploration projects in Canada and Botswana, announced its Resource Development Program has resulted in a 58% increase in the Inferred Mineral Resource at the high-grade CH-6 kimberlite pipe at its 100%-owned Chidliak Diamond Project, Nunavut, Canada. Their inferred resource at CH-6 jumped from 11.39 million to 17.96 million carats after testing. This brings the company's total Phase One Diamond Development resource at the CH-6 and Ch-7 pipes to 22 million carats.
Mountain Province Diamonds and Kennady Diamonds have entered into a friendly and definitive agreement whereby Mountain Province will acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of Kennady, at a premium. Kennady shareholders will receive 0.975 of a Mountain Province share from each Kennady share they hold. That represents a value of $3.46 per Kennady share, and a premium of 26% to Kennady’s closing price and a premium of 15% based on the 20-day volume- weighted-average-price of Mountain Province Shares on the TSX and Kennady Shares on the TSX-V, both as of close on January 26, 2018.
While out on North Arrow Minerals' Mel diamond property on Nunavut's remote Melville Peninsula, prospectors made a welcome discovery: a 62 kilogram surface sample of diamond bearing kimberlite. The sample returned 23 micro-diamonds. This prompted North Arrow to significantly increase the size of its 100% owned Mel Diamond Project from 7,500 ha to 56,075 ha. Claim staking was initiated as a result of North Arrow’s September 2017 discovery of a new diamond bearing kimberlite field at Mel, located within 20 km of tide water on the Melville Peninsula, Nunavut.
Arctic Star Exploration Corp has started its diamond exploration program on its Timantti diamond project in Finland, the company stated last week.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company and its partners, recovered a 129.58 carat rough diamond from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, the eight stone above 100 carats since commercial production started in 2015.
Gem Diamonds, which owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, reports they recovered 30,774 carats during Q3 2017 (July 1 - Sept. 30 2017), up 23% from 24,999 carats in Q2 2017 and up 26% YoY, as the grade of recovery increased 14% to 1.88 cpht. This is a welcome return to form for Letšeng. During the three month period, the junior miner achieved an average price of $1,858 per carat, up 4% from $1,779 per carat in H1 2017. This included an average price of $2,397 per carat for the July tender, making it the highest achieved US$ per carat for a tender since September 2015.
Australian junior miner POZ Minerals Limited (‘POZ’) has signed a mining agreement with the Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation (‘Bunuba’), the traditional owners of the southern part of the Blina Diamond Project area, which will enable POZ to move forward with its diamond project in the Ellendale Region of Western Australia - known for its fancy yellow diamonds.
Canadian junior miner Diamcor Mining Inc.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation has released its third quarter production and sales results from its Renard Diamond Mine in Quebec, with better ore grades leading to higher carat recoveries; the junior miner also saw growth in carats sold and an improving price per carat, though the issue of diamond breakage has yet to be solved. During the quarter, 506,380 tons of ore were processed compared to the plan of 540,000 tons (-6%).
Five Star Diamonds, a Canadian mining company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, signed a co-operation agreement with I.Henning, the world’s leading international diamond broking and consulting group. Five star is making significant progress on its kimberlite drilling program at its 100% owned Jaibaras Diamond Project in Para State, Brazil.
Canadian junior miner Peregrine Diamonds announced that it has completed drilling of three diamond holes at its 100%-owned Chidliak Diamond Project near Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. The total number of metres drilled was 1,474. Tom Peregoodoff, Peregrine’s President and CEO, commented: “We are extremely pleased with the drill results to date. It is especially encouraging to see that DD38 confirms the result from DD33 and that the CH-6 kimberlite is expanding in size with depth.
Despite ongoing breakage issues during processing, Canadian junior miner Stornoway Diamond experienced an uptick in prices for rough diamonds from its Quebec mine during the second quarter of 2017. At its two tenders held in Antwerp during the period, Stornoway achieved average diamond pricing of US$87 per carat, compared to US$81 per carat in the first quarter. “We are particularly encouraged by the steady increase in pricing for Renard diamonds as the market familiarises itself with our production,” said company President and CEO Matt Manson.
Canadian junior miner Kennady Diamonds reports a collective average price of US$109 per carat from its bulk sampling program of diamonds recovered from the Faraday kimberlites at the 100 percent-controlled Kennady North project located in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Valuation results included a 7.78 carat sawable diamond recovered from Faraday 3 valued at US$2,967 per carat. A total of 1,259.16 carats (+0.85mm) recovered from the 2017 bulk sampling program was sent to WWW International Diamond Consultants (‘WWW’) in Antwerp for valuation.
Firestone Diamonds, the AIM-listed junior mining company operating the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho (ownership Firestone 75%, Lesotho 25%), has revised its production guidance for the year to 30 June 2018 (FY 2018) to between 800,000 and 850,000 carats from previously-stated 1.0 million carats.