----ADDS BROKER COMMENT AND SHARE PRICE---
DiamondCorp (LON:DCP) shares rose as it said ramp up to full production from the Upper K4 (UK4) Block is on track to achieve 30,000 tonnes per month by July this year and it is hoping for a new resource statement at its Lace mine in South Africa in the next few weeks.
The 400 tonne per hour conveyor belt was fired up in November and is operating to design capacity, the group said.
Mining has restarted after a two week Christmas shut-down and remains on target to achieve that commercial production rate.
Stones recovered from initial processing are meeting expectations in terms of colour and quality, including three stones larger than 10 carats, the largest of which was a 22.11 carat H coloured stone, the miner added.
This was sold to the firm's beneficiation joint venture for US$5,000 per carat with a view to recovering an 8 carat emerald cut stone after cutting and polishing.
In addition, last week, the firm prepared to export 3,577 carats of diamonds, which were recovered from bulk testing activities in the second half of 2015.
They will be sorted in Antwerp ahead of the commencement of diamond sales in the next few months. To date, 7,449 carats have been produced towards the first sale.
"Diamond market sentiment has started 2016 in a reasonably positive mood as supply management by the major producers appears to have resulted in renewed demand for rough diamonds in certain size categories," the firm added.