Frontier Diamonds has successfully recovered the first diamonds from the Bellsbank Kimberlite pipe exploration project, which is located 10km from its Sedibeng diamond mine operations in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
The largest of all the diamonds discovered was noted to be 1.45 carats.
Frontier recovered the diamonds from a sample taken from the upper levels of the calcretised kimberlite facies of the Bellsbank kimberlite pipe, which was treated at a new sample and tailings treatment plant.
The facility was recently completed at an aggregate cost of around $1.2m.
The plant is expected to serve as a concentrate retreatment plant to facilitate the treatment of available tailings material from the Sedibeng mine.
It will also be used to process bulk samples extracted from the Bellsbank project, as well as other regional exploration targets.
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Frontier Diamonds CEO Jan Louw said: “The quality of diamonds recovered from the plant commissioning sample is very encouraging and supports our decision to proceed to the next phase in developing the asset.
“We will now focus our efforts on increasing the pit layout to enable us to access the primary kimberlite pipe and conduct an adequate bulk sample.
“The newly commissioned plant facilities give us the added advantage of performing the bulk sample programme at a relatively low overall cost and in an expedited manner.”
The company noted that the discovery in the upper calcretised kimberlite indicates that that the lower facies could potentially contain diamonds.
Frontier is planning to undertake an economic evaluation of the project in the near future, which will include a resource and reserve estimation, in addition to mine planning activities.