Rain blamed for ‘disappointing’ second quarter for BlueRock, mine CEO steps down

12th July 2022

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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Aim-listed diamond producer BlueRock Diamonds, which owns and operates the Kareevlei diamond mine, near Kimberley, in South Africa’s Northern Cape, has had a “disappointing” second quarter as a result of excessive rain, BlueRock executive chairperson Mike Houston said on July 11.

“The extreme weather conditions, which saw 145 mm of rain fall during the period compared with 9 mm of rain recorded for the corresponding period in 2021, are reflected in what is a disappointing quarter, with production significantly less than budget,” he explained. 

During the period, Houston said BlueRock had limited access to fresh kimberlite, which resulted in the feed to the plant being a lower grade, while also having to contend with a higher percentage of fines or clay material, which are more susceptible to wet conditions and which impacted negatively on throughput tonnage.

"We have benefitted from improved weather over the past month and a better-balanced drier material has been supplied to the processing plant, taking us one step further towards achieving our stated objective of increasing production to one-million tonnes a year,” Houston said.

He explained that the market had remained buoyant for non-Russian rough diamonds during the second quarter and that Kareevlei had averaged $576/ct in the quarter, 35% higher than the $428/ct achieved during the same period last year. 

“With the ongoing tightness of supply of rough diamonds and the expected recovery of the Chinese retail market, the outlook for the rest of the year for rough diamond prices is positive,” Houston said.     

With additional financing secured, BlueRock said it would continue to focus its efforts on optimising the Kareevlei mining operation to better leverage the potential of the new plant and take advantage of the strong market.


Given Kareevlei’s poor performance, BlueRock's major shareholder Teichmann Group has decided to take a more direct role in the management of the company and its Kareevlei operations.

An experienced, high-level technical and commercial team, previously from diamond mining major De Beers, has in the interim completed a full review of the operations and, although the detailed report is expected soon, a number of positive proposals have already been made, which BlueRock said would enhance operational performance.

As part of the interventions made by Teichmann, current Kareevlei CEO Meiring Burger will step down on July 31 with BlueRock nonexecutive director Gary Teichmann expected to be appointed interim CEO. 

BlueRock said “two experienced individuals”, who would cover the mining and processing disciplines, have been secured to work alongside Teichmann at Kareevlei over the next six months to implement recommended changes while the group searches for a new CEO.

While guidance for next year remains unchanged, BlueRock’s revised guidance for this year is for between 24 500 ct and 30 000 ct of diamonds, down from the previous guidance of 28 000 ct to 33 000 ct, leading to revised revenue expectations of between $12-million and $16.5-million rather than the previous estimate of $14-million to $18-million.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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