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Stellar Diamonds upbeat despite softer stone prices

In November, Stellar raised £1.26mln to advance its plans at Baoule and also at Tongo in Sierra Leone.
Stellar Diamonds upbeat despite softer stone prices
The target resource at Baoule is 3.3 mln carats based on historical drilling and the current trial mining.

Stellar Diamonds (LON:STEL) has posted its first revenues from mining, as trial production got underway at Baoule in Guinea.

Income in the year to June was US$614,000, while losses reduced to £3.05mln (2014: £4.1mln) as admin costs halved.

In November, Stellar raised £1.26mln to advance its plans at Baoule and also at Tongo in Sierra Leone.

Karl Smithson, chief executive, said the mine plan and financial model for Tongo was very robust.

“The independent PEA outlines an 18-year life of mine at a modest capital requirement of US$24.8mln, which is expected to deliver robust revenues at a high margin."

A mining licence application and environmental impact assessment study would be submitted in near future, he said.

At Baoulé, processing had produced 6,400 carats so far with the most recent diamonds sale in May achieving an average value of US$156 per carat, he said.

“A number of diamonds have achieved high prices with a 10 carat fancy yellow stone fetching US$6,800 per carat, which indicates the high value potential of the diamonds contained in the Baoulé pipe.”

The target resource is 3.3mln carats based on historical drilling and the current trial mining.

Smithson noted the diamond market had weakened recently with prices 15% lower and set to go soften further, though cut backs by the majors should stabilise the position.

On a company level, however, he added this financial year should be transformational.

“Securing the mining licence and necessary funding to get Tongo into mine development and production, and continued positive results from trial mine evaluation of Baoulé should hopefully deliver the returns that shareholders deserve."

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