BlueRock Diamonds has started kimberlite processing from its second pipe, KV1, at the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa.
The company has five known kimberlite pipes, including KV1, within the Kareevlei project area.
KV1 is estimated to have an inferred mineral resource grade of 6.3 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht), 40% more than that of the 4.5cpht KV2 pipe where the company began processing in 2014.
Based on a competent persons’ report, the Kareevlei inferred mineral resource (KV1, KV2 and KV3 kimberlite pipes) comprises 359,000 carats in 7,984,000t of ore.
The company noted that since it started mining operations at Kareevlei, 10,010 carats have been mined from 370,233t of ore from the KV2 pipe.
BlueRock Diamonds CEO Adam Waugh said: “I’m delighted that processing from KV1 is now underway which is anticipated to increase the overall grade, allowing for greater flexibility in production and more consistent results.
“With our crushing circuit now processing at or around the target production levels of 80t an hour, the outlook for the remainder of 2018 is looking positive.”
Since KV1 is situated around 40m from KV2, the company expects to mine both the pipes in a single open pit in a bid to benefit from a lower stripping ratio.
The crushing circuit achieved the target production levels after the company installed a second cone crusher and the implemented optimisation measures.
This is expected to ease production challenges commonly encountered during the rainy period from January to April.