VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Inadequate water recoveries from project developer Diamcor Mining’s Krone-Endora at Venetia project's settling dams continue to hinder the project from reaching design capacity, resulting in lower output, the company announced on Wednesday.
The Kelowna, British Columbia-based company advised that it was placing “considerable focus” on procurement, installation and commissioning of a paste-thickening plant at its South Africa-based project, which is expected to correct the issue once installed.
The operation will continue to process material at limited volumes in the short-term.
Diamcor also reported the results from the latest diamond tender, during which diamonds recovered before November 9 were offered for sale.
The company sold 4 353.91 ct of rough diamonds for gross proceeds of $864 546.09, which reflects an average price of $198.57/ct. The 44% fewer carats over the September period offered on the latest tender were attributable to the excessively suspensive properties of the very fine kimberlitic clay materials, along with a shorter time frame between tender dates during the quarter, the company explained.
Despite the limited processing volumes, Diamcor said that the project continued to demonstrate its potential for the recovery of larger rough diamonds. Of the total rough diamonds tendered and sold, three individual rough diamonds were in the specials category (+10.8 ct) with the largest being 25.02 ct, 19 individual rough diamonds being over 5 ct in size, and 182 individual rough diamonds being over 2 ct in size.
The average dollar per carat increased from the previous quarter ended September, in which the average dollar per carat of rough diamonds sold and tendered was reported at $171.70. The increase in the average dollar per carat is partially attributable to the quality of the 25.02 ct rough diamond tendered and sold, and demonstrates the positive impact that larger rough diamonds can have on the company's revenues.
Further, the company’s rough diamond tenders have seen increased attendance and demand during the period, helping to drive prices of certain categories of rough diamonds higher quarter-over-quarter.