Aim-listed diamond producer BlueRock Diamonds, which operates the Kareevlei diamond mine, near Kimberley in South Africa, reports that its production for the first quarter of this year had increased by 40% year-on-year, despite adverse weather conditions.
The mine produced 3 507 ct in the quarter under review.
Its sorted tonnage increased by 16% year-on-year, with 86 005 t of material extracted from the mine.
BlueRock sold 4 004 ct in the first quarter, up 23% year-on-year.
The miner also managed to increase its average price per carat by 37%, from $327/ct in the first quarter of 2020, to $446/ct in the first three months of this year.
BlueRock executive chairperson Mike Houston is particularly pleased by the recovery in the prices for BlueRock’s diamonds for the quarter. “During the quarter, we sold four large carat diamonds, which generated in excess of $50 000 each, for a total of $381 000.”
He adds that BlueRock’s new project management team has settled in and is working on the upgrade of the mine’s plant.
“As a result of this collaboration, we have decided to reprioritise some of the ancillary elements of the expansion project, which had been scheduled previously to take place following commissioning of the wet half of the new plant.”
Houston says BlueRock expects the plant to be fully operational by the end of July, a month later than previously anticipated.
“We are still targeting production in excess of the bottom end of our existing guidance of 850 000 t for 2021 although, for prudence, we are reducing our published guidance for 2021 of tonnes processed to [between] 750 000 t and 850 000 t.”
Once the expansion project is complete, yearly throughput will be about one-million tonnes, he says.
In terms of carats produced, BlueRock is adjusting its guidance to between 30 000 ct and 39 000 ct.