PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diamond miner Lucapa Diamond Company has started commissioning of the 1.1-million-tonne-a-year treatment plant at its Mothae kimberlite diamond mine, in Lesotho.
First commercial diamond recoveries are slated for early November.
More than 4 100 ct of diamonds have been recovered from the bulk sampling of areas within the Mothae kimberlite pipe, which had not previously been tested, or had been inadequately tested during the previous trial mining phase, Lucapa said on Monday.
These recoveries included large diamonds of up to 89 ct.
The first parcel of some 2 500 of the Mothae bulk sampling diamonds were exported to Antwerp in September, with Lucapa planning to export the remainder of the bulk sampling diamonds ahead of the first scheduled sale in the fourth quarter of this year.
Some 23 400 ct of diamonds were also recovered during the trial mining phase, including specials of up to 254 ct, and 96 individual stones weighing more than 10 ct.