Aim-listed BlueRock Diamonds has resumed mining activities at its Kareevlei diamond mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, following further discussions with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE).
Kareevlei was issued a Section 54 notice in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act on November 11 and operations were then stopped.
"We were disappointed to be issued with the Section 54 notice and the time it took to resolve the issues raised.
“However, as management, we appreciate the guidance given by the DMRE. We are now looking at how best to manage the working capital impact of the lost production,” executive chairperson Mike Houston says.
Moreover, BlueRock says that commissioning of the new plant designed to increase production to one-million tonnes a year and carats produced to between 40 000 ct/y and 43 000 ct/y is progressing well, with the crushing circuit and Line 1 fully operational and achieving design capacity.
The old plant was closed last week and the two pans, as planned, have been refurbished and fitted to Line 2.
Management will start feeding ore to Line 2 this week and start ramping up to full production shortly thereafter.
"We are confident that, given the experience of commissioning Line 1, commissioning Line 2 should be relatively straightforward, which should enable us to fast-track to full production.
“Pleasingly, the mine had, prior to the short suspension of mining activities, been building up stocks of crushed ore and will resume doing so until early December when Line 2 is expected to be fully operational. These stocks will help sustain production as we move into the rainy season and position us to deliver on the lower end of our 2021 production guidance of 22 000 ct to 26 000 ct,” Houston indicates.