Magnum Mining has started a trial mining and processing programme at the Gravelotte emerald project, located in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
The programme aims to obtain critical information to assist with the resumption of commercial mining operations at Gravelotte, which previously produced emeralds until the early 1980s.
It is also expected to optimise mining and processing techniques and recoveries, in addition to confirming historical emerald grades.
Magnum is anticipated to use the emeralds recovered during the programme to determine the likely value of Gravelotte emeralds in the open market.
The company is set to begin processing activities following the mining of 2,100t of emeralds.
The second phase of the trial programme is scheduled to begin next month.
It will involve the mining and processing 8,000t of hard rock sourced from the Cobra and Discovery pits.
The company intends to recover more than 250,000 carats of emeralds through the initiative.
Magnum previously worked for more than 36 months to re-establish the historical database prior to the commencement of the project, as well as improve its understanding of the geology, structure and controls of mineralisation within the development area.
The average recovered grade from hard rock mining in the final two decades stood at around 6.2g/t, based on historical records.
The mining lease includes an estimated 850,000t of coarse tailings and untreated ore.