London, England — 31 July 2012 – Stellar Diamonds plc “’ the AIM-listed diamond development company focused on West Africa “’ has announced that the Ministry of Mineral Resources of Sierra Leone has renewed its exploration licence over the Tongo kimberlite dyke project on a priority rights basis.

Revealing this in a statement issued here, the company said that the project’s current inferred resource was 660,000cts, with a modelled diamond value of US$248 per carat.

Chief executive Karl Smithson commented: “The renewal of our Tongo exploration licence in line with the Mines and Minerals Act of 2009 enables the company to pursue its objective of doubling the existing 660,000ct resource through its ongoing drilling and evaluation programme. We are on track to deliver an upgraded resource statement for Tongo in the fourth quarter of this year,” he added.

“Tongo remains a priority project for Stellar Diamonds and, along with the Droujba kimberlite project in Guinea, we believe we are well-placed to deliver value in the short term through increasing our inferred resource base of 3.1Mcts and moving these projects through to the pre-feasibility stage,” he said.

“We continue to engage with the Ministry of Mineral Resources regarding the Kono licence dispute. The two Kono licences were initially granted in 2005 and the company has to date invested over US$19 million in exploration and development at Kono. We are committed to ensuring that the company’s rights at Kono are honoured, as allowed for by the Mines and Minerals Act 2009, and we will keep shareholders informed of our activities as we progress,” he assured.
Caption, Pic 1: Diamonds from Dyke One at the Stellar Diamonds Tongo project in Sierra Leone.

Source: Stellar Diamonds. For more information, click here.