London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 20 June 2008 – Mano River Resources Inc. – a Toronto Stock Exchange and AIM-listed exploration and development company focused on West Africa – has made significant progress in its Kono kimberlite diamond project in Sierra Leone.
The Kono project is a joint venture between Stellar Diamonds Limited (49%) and Petra Diamonds Limited (51%). Mano River is a 63.2% shareholder in Stellar.
A Mano news release issued here confirmed that the exploration and trial mining operations at the Kono project were progressing well and continued to deliver encouraging results. Two shafts – Pol-K and Bardu – were being developed, and processing of exploration and development material to date had yielded 12 132 diamonds weighing a total of 1 049 carats.
It went on to reveal that the first commercial tender of diamonds from the Kono project was planned for August in Johannesburg through existing Petra marketing channels. This was likely to involve approximately 800 carats of diamonds from the Pol-K shaft, and would give an indication of the likely minimum value to be realised from this kimberlite shaft.
A second, larger tender – comprising diamonds produced from the first Pol-K stopes – was being scheduled for October. As diamond production from the trial mining stopes increases over the coming months, revenues from diamond sales are expected to generate a regular cash flow to offset against development expenditure.
Commenting on this aspect, Stellar Diamonds CEO Karl Smithson said: “We are moving to a position at the Pol-K shaft where we expect to increase the monthly tonnage and diamond production significantly. Through the planned tenders of diamonds in August and October, and regular diamond sales in the coming months, we expect to be able to offset project expenditure from these revenues,” he added.
“The production of the first 1,000 carats from underground trial mining is a significant milestone in our joint venture with Petra Diamonds, and we continue to be encouraged by the kimberlite grades and observed quality of diamonds being produced,” Smithson concluded.