HomeDiamonds & GemstonesBluegum diamond project poised to double production

Bluegum diamond project poised to double production

Aerial view of one
of Etruscan’s South
African operations –
the Klipgat diamond
Halifax, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 June 2008 – Etruscan Resources Incorporated – a diversified Canadian diamond and gold exploration and mining company in West and Southern Africa – says the pre-feasibility study for its project to more than double production at its Bluegum diamond operation in the alluvial diamond district of Ventersdorp in South Africa, is expected to be released in August this year.

A company news release issue here points out that the Bluegum project is being handled by its 54%-owned subsidiary, Etruscan Diamonds Limited.

“Significant progress is being achieved,” the release added. “Operations continue with 5 465 carats recovered from 209 231 cubic meters of gravel with an average rough tender value of US$613 (R4 660) per carat, aggregating US$3 35 million (R25 million) for the period December 2007 to May 2008.”

The company added that delivery and installation of a new pre-screener unit by the end of this month would improve plant throughput by increasing pre-screening capacity from 1 000 to 10 000 cubic metres per day.

The Blue Gum pre-feasibility study for expanded production to 260 000 cubic metres per month would incorporate an updated resource estimate that will take into account in-fill and deeper drilling that should provide for conversion of a higher percentage of inferred resource into the indicated resource classification, the news release added. Meanwhile exploration planning was focused on additional sinkhole targets outside of the Blue Gum project area.
Etruscan Diamonds Limited president Kevin MacNeill commented: “We are looking forward to completing the pre-feasibility study which will lay the groundwork for expanding our present processing facilities from a 100 000 to 260 000 cubic meters per month.”
The most exciting aspect, according to MacNeill, is the potential for additional resource. A large area of exploration potential is reported to exist on the Blue Gum project beyond the resource that has been identified to date. “We have also identified sink hole features on other properties which appear to be larger in size than the current sink holes being mined on Blue Gum, he added. “Over the coming months we will continue to explore and drill these sink hole features to determine the size of the gravel content.”

The updated National Instrument 43-101-compliant report estimates that the Blue Gum project contains 20.5 million cubic metres of indicated diamond resources and 17 million cubic metres of inferred diamond resources at grades ranging from 1.77 to 2.85 carats per hundred cubic meters. The results from additional drilling will be included in an updated resource estimate for the Blue Gum project, which is expected to be completed in August 2008.