Kopane Diamond Developments has announced an increased resource grade of 34.3 carats per hundred tonnes at its Main Pipe at Liqhobong in the Kingdom of Lesotho, Southern Africa.

The indicated resource in the upper 180m of the pipe has increased from 31 cpht to 32.8 cpht, while the Main Pipe’s overall number of carats increased to an estimated 31.14 million, compared to previously announced 29.7 million.

Based on an independent mine valuation of $86 per carat in September 2008, the estimated in-situ value of the Main Pipe has increased to $2.7bn, the company said.

Kopane Diamond chairman Frank Scolaro said this anticipated increase in the grade estimate for the Main Pipe adds further value to the Liqhobong project and its mining potential.

“We are continuing our discussions to execute the most profitable route to deliver value for our world-class asset,” Scolaro said.

Kopane’s Liqhobong operations are operated by Liqhobong Mining Development Company, which is 75% owned by Kopane and 25% by the Government of Lesotho.