London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 May 2009 – Petra Diamonds – now one of the world’s largest independent diamond groups in terms of resources – and Mano River Resources Incorporated – an exploration and development company focused on the discovery and development of world-class gold, diamond and iron ore deposits in West Africa – have suspended their Kono joint venture in Sierra Leone
Making the announcement here, Petra revealed that the decision had been made after the price of gems mined at the project had slumped by more than 60% between September last year and April. It said the suspension would be reviewed when the rough-diamond market improved.
“Despite the encouraging diamond grades we continue to encounter at Kono, it is not sustainable to maintain the development and trial mining until we see diamond prices at a more appropriate level,” Petra CEO Johan Dippenaar said in the company’s statement.
The drop in the price of gems from Kono was confirmed by Vancouver-based Mano in a separate statement.
Kono is sole-funded by Mano’s Stellar Diamonds Limited unit. Petra has a 51% stake in Kono, with the remainder held by Stellar.