Paragon Diamonds management is looking to build top class diamond company, starting with the production of large high value diamonds at the Lemphane Kimberlite operation in Lesotho, which is set to commence in early 2015.
The AIM-quoted diamond development and production company has reported substantial progress towards building a cash generative diamond production company with a portfolio of multi-stage projects located in known diamondiferous regions of Africa
With a new strategy focused on building a leading vertically integrated diamond production and investment company, Paragon Diamonds will be retaining ownership of the journey of a stone from the ground to the high street to ensure value is retained for the company’s shareholders.
Paragon Diamonds is on course to commence Stage 1 (two year) production in 2015 and expects to be generating first revenues of US$9 million per annum at the open pit Lemphane Kimberlite in Lesotho where 20 000 carats have been targeted with an estimated average value of US$930–US$1,025 per carat.
The company has secured the award of a 10 year mining lease at Lemphane, which is renewable for a further three consecutive 10 year periods.
“Having secured a mining lease during the period and with infrastructure already in place at the site, our immediate focus is to secure a processing plant so that we can commence Stage 1 production at our flagship Lemphane pipe in Lesotho in the near term,” said Paragon Diamonds CEO Stephen Grimmer.
“The recent independent size frequency and revenue modelling report provides a third party assessment of what we can expect from Stage 1, which will involve 1 million tonnes of ore mined. According to the report, Stage 1 is expected to result in the recovery of over 100 diamonds larger than 9 carats, including stones up to 100 carats in size.
“Over the entire resource of 48.6Mt of kimberlite that has been delineated to date, the report indicates the recovery of diamonds of over 300 carats in size, up to 50 diamonds in excess of 100 carats and 175 diamonds in excess of 50 carats. These numbers are consistent with those being achieved at the nearby deposit of Letseng, and if achieved would see Lemphane added to the list of world class kimberlite pipes in Lesotho.”