Aim-listed BlueRock Diamonds is recording solid results at its Kareevlei diamond mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, following its restart last month when mines in South Africa were allowed to partially resume operations.
There have been no cases of Covid-19 reported at Kareevlei.
“The health and safety of our employees remains of paramount importance to us and as such we continue to take great care with regards to carrying out the new safety precautions at Kareevlei. In line with this, I am pleased to report that there have been no cases of coronavirus at the mine,” comments BlueRock chairperson Mike Houston.
Production is now averaging almost 2 000 t/d since May 11 to bring the total to 41 500 t.
This is 65% higher than the average daily production in the prior record quarter − the fourth quarter of 2019, when it produced 110 000 t.
Houston notes that the modifications made to the primary crushing circuit and the introduction of the third pan together with the processing of softer near-surface material have allowed the company to increase production at minimal cost while also reducing operating costs.
The amalgamation of KV1 and KV2, which will provide flexibility to the company’s mining operation, is almost complete. Houston noted that it is progressing well and is expected to be fully operational in the third quarter.
“While the amalgamation is ongoing, we are necessarily processing a higher percentage of lower-grade near-surface material and as a consequence the average grade for the diamonds currently in stock is 3.14 ct per hundred tonnes (cpht).
We expect to be mining in higher grade areas towards the end of June and we are confident that grades will return to 2019 levels of in excess of 4 cpht.
The company had about 2 400 ct diamonds in stock at May 31.