Namakwa Diamonds (LON:NAD) announced the discovery of a rare pink diamond and upheld its 20,000 production guidance for the South African operations.
In the year to May 25, production from the alluvial mining operations in the North West Province of South Africa reached 16,569 carats from 2.34 million tonnes processed at an average grade of 0.71 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht).
Unit costs remained in-line with expectations and average year-to-date sales prices were US$764 per carat.
Recent significant discoveries in South Africa included a high value 44.47 carat diamond and an “exceptionally rare” 11.36 carat pink diamond, which puts them in the top five diamonds recovered from the mining area during the company’s tenure.
According to the company, this pink diamond, which has not yet been sold, ranks alongside the 7.53 carat orange diamond discovered in October 2010 in terms of rareness and quality.
It added that it also demonstrates the “potential upside for the mining area when operated on the current streamlined basis”.
The company also updated investors on its operations in Lesotho, where it had to adjust the full year production target to 150,000 carats due to problems with the scrubbed and low levels of make-up process water available to the Kao mine.
The 500 tonne per hour processing plant is currently running at half its capacity with the ramp up to full capacity has been delayed by the water supply issues.
The mine's water pipeline from the Kao and Malibamotso rivers is expected to be in service from mid-July.
Until then, the available water from accessible water sources will allow the company to meet its revised 2012 production target.
Production from Kao was 68,240 carats in the year to May 25 from 651,810 tonnes processed, with an average grade of 10.47cpht.
Sales of diamonds from the Kao Mine achieved average prices of US$395 per carat in May with the average year-to-date sales price at US$276 per carat.
At least 10 tender sales are expected to be held during 2012 as the mine moves into full production.