According to Marius Welthagen, CEO of Thabex, the Kolo kimberlite project, located in Lesotho is now in full production. A 20 tonne per hour Dense Medium Separator and a 14 foot gravity rotary pan plant have been installed at the mine and Thabex reports that up to 30% of the diamonds recovered at the mine are of gem quality.

Of a total of 2,285 tonnes recently processed of the mainly ‘A’ type kimberlite, 206 carats at an indicated grade ranging from 7.71 to 16.62 carats per hundred tonnes were produced with a bottom cutoff screen size of 2 mm.

During 1996, rough diamonds from Kolo sold on auction at the mining commissioner’s office in Lesotho indicated that an 18.3 carat diamond was sold for US$7,800 per carat and larger stones, including a 38 ct and 138 ct diamond, were also sold in the same parcel.