Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 July 2010 – Namakwa Diamonds “’ an integrated diamond resource group with a flagship kimberlite mining project in Lesotho “’ expects the first phase of its commercial production to begin in September next year.
Revealing this in a statement issued here, the company said that development of the flagship Kao project area was ahead of schedule for pre-production in January 2011 and commercial production in September. Valuations and grade from early stage metallurgical test-work had been in line with management expectations.
The statement revealed that there had been a significant proportion of top white gem and commercial white clean goods, with several fancy colours. The largest diamond recovered to date was 16cts. The company would provide updated independent valuations once the metallurgical test-work was more advanced.
It said that with over 90% of the workforce now Lesotho nationals and significant improvements made in the development of the site’s working facilities and surrounding infrastructure, management anticipated that metallurgical test work would continue into H1 of 2011, before the plant was re-positioned and the slimes and freshwater dams developed for Phase 1 commercial production.
The AIM-listed company expected phase one to deliver about 1.1-million carats from 12.5Mt of ore. Phase two of the project was expected to increase production to 5Mtpa a year over the expected 40-year life-of-mine.
At 19.8 ha, the main kimberlite pipe at Kao is the largest in Lesotho and the fourth largest in Southern Africa. Kao has a total resource of 173Mt, containing about 12.4-million carats of diamonds.