Last year yielded positive results for Aim-listed diamond miner BlueRock Diamonds, which achieved significant increases in production and recovered grade, and saw its diamond sales increase by 71% to 5 805 ct, compared with the 3 385 ct sold in 2017.
Production volume for the miner, which owns and operates the Kareevlei diamond mine, near Kimberley, increased by 24% to 189 999 t, compared with 153 147 t in 2017.
The average grade improved by 34% to 3.28 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht), up from 2.45 cpht in 2017.
For the fourth-quarter only, however, the average grade increased to 4 cpht, an increase of 63% over the average for 2017.
BlueRock CEO Adam Waugh on Thursday said the results from the miner’s second kimberlite pipe, KV1, which came on stream in June last year, and from the undiluted levels of the miner’s first kimberlite pipe, KV2, have shown a marked increase in grade.
Waugh expects this to continue this year.
“Our move to a 365-day operation is expected to start in February and is expected to give us around 40% additional plant availability. This, coupled with a consistently improving grade profile, makes the outlook for 2019 very encouraging,” he adds.
“It is hoped that the operational improvements seen over the last two years and further improvements planned will now translate into generating value for shareholders”.