JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) –Southern African diamond mining, development and exploration company DiamondCorp has started production ramp-up from the Upper K4 Block (UK4) of its Lace diamond mine, in the Free State.
The first UK4 production would be recovered from the 310-m level, where the slot was being opened up to the drive vertically above it on the 290-m level.
Once the slot was mined by the end of the first quarter of 2016, and all trough tunnels completed during the second quarter of 2016, longhole ring blasting for production troughs would start.
UK4 production from January to the end of March was scheduled to average 4 000 t/m, increasing to an average of 15 000 t/m between April and June, before reaching full production of 30 000 t/m from July 2016 onwards.
“Today is an historic day for the Lace mine, as it marks the start of the ramp-up towards commercial production from underground at Lace for the first time since October 1930.
“Production to date has come from access development and tailings retreatment; from now on production will be dominated by mining development, stoping and block caving,” commented CEO Paul Loudon.