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AIM-listed diamond miner BlueRock Diamonds has completed an upgrade to the crushing circuit, including the installation of a larger cone crusher at its Kareevlei diamond mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa.

South Africa – In addition to the installation of the new crusher, the crushing circuit has been upgraded and reconfigured in order to handle the expected increase in material flows and is now set up to be able to operate the new crusher alongside the existing cone crusher.   

The new crusher began operating on 1 August 2019 and is expected to be running at full capacity shortly.  The existing cone crusher will continue to run as volume through the new crusher increases in order to maintain production and to build stockpiles of crushed ore in line with the company’s operating plan.
 
“We have taken the opportunity to make a number of improvements to the processing plant during the crusher shut down period and are confident that these improvements will have the desired effect in achieving our targeted level of production in the second half of the year,” says BlueRock Diamonds executive chairman Mike Houston.

The company’s volume guidance for the year remains at 280 000 t to 335 000 t and, as previously announced, BlueRock Diamonds will refine its guidance following the end of Q3 after the reconfigured plant has been operational for two months.

According to Houston, since the new management team started in April 2019, operational performance at Kareevlei has been transformed.

Volumes are running at almost double the average monthly rates for 2018, leading to a consequent increase in the number of carats produced.

Smarter mining and the consequent lower dilution has also led to an improved grade and the increased volumes have resulted in the expected increase in the incidence of larger and higher grade stones.