HomeDiamonds & GemstonesNew Botswana mine on verge of production

New Botswana mine on verge of production

Dan O’Neill,
Managing Director,
Brisbane, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 May 2008 – Botswana’s newest diamond mine – the only one in the country which does not fall under the the ambit of diamond giant De Beers, the largest diamond mining company in the world – is in line for first recovery of diamonds in June 2008.

It is the Lerala diamond mine, situated in eastern Botswana some 80 km south of Selebi Phikwe, and developed by Brisbane-based specialist diamond explorer DiamonEx Limited, which is listed on both the Australian and Botswana stock exchanges.

Revealing latest progress in an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange, the company said commissioning of the process plant would be complete during the course of June, the first diamond sale was scheduled for July 2008, and full production would be achieved during the same month.

During the commissioning period approximately 30 000 tonnes of ore will be processed. At present the company has stockpiled some 200 000 tonnes of ore ready for hot commissioning and processing during the course of June. Once in full production, monthly throughput will amount to some 100 000 tonnes of ore.

DiamonEx managing director Dan O’Neill commented: “We are extremely pleased to announce that commissioning at Lerala is running smoothly, with only a few delays arising from the late arrival of ancillary plant items at the site.”

DiamonEx is an emerging diamond producer developing Lerala into a 330 000 carat/year mine. Situated in an area that produces up to 30% of the world’s diamonds by value, the mine has an established resource of 3.7 million carats.