Kimberley, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 February, 2008 – New African Mining (NAM) – a recently launched, South African-based diamond mining company – is in production and is advancing towards meeting its first targets.
A press release issued here today says the company is scheduled to sell its first diamonds at a public tender in late February. More acquisitions are planned and should set the stage for continuous growth in 2008.
The company continually seeks new opportunities which match its requirements of nearby output and profitability, the release explains. “NAM is therefore focusing on growth and plans to acquire additional projects that fit to the company’s expansion strategy. This would eventually transform NAM into a serious mid-tier diamond producer,” it adds.
NAM has come into being over the past two years to meet the changing investment criteria of the diamond mining industry with a focus on early production and cash flow, and five promising projects – all within a short distance of Kimberly – have been identified. They comprise three underground mines for re-development, a large alluvial deposit and a tailings recovery plant.
The Kamfersdam tailings recovery unit has experienced some start-up problems but is expected to be fully operational by the end of February. It benefits from a supply of free process water and a wholly-owned, disused quarry to be used for waste disposal. Initial screening of the tailings in the commissioning of the processing plant revealed a high percentage of uncrushed Kimberlite ore. A total of 5.2 million tonnes of tailings is available for processing at Kamfersdam.
The Simolotse underground mine has been completely refurbished and is already producing. Three shafts are being re-equipped, together with underground stope development and a complete refurbishment of the surface processing plant and facilities.
Carat production at Simolotse in December 2007, – from both tailings and underground ore – was above forecast. Encouragingly, the proportion of stones weighing more than one carat equaled 54% of recovery. The largest stone weighed 7.8 carats.
In order to increase capacity and improve efficiency the processing plant was dismantled and re-built, incorporating two 16 ft rotary pans and a scrubber section. This work is nearing completion. Currently, a stockpile of more than 5 000 tonnes from underground production is ready for processing.
NAM is building its portfolio towards a targeted production of 200 000 carats per year from its identified projects, and plans to be cash flow positive by 2009.