Consultant AMEC has provided a report of a new geological model for the proposed mine, and this includes an 80% increase in tonnage for the upper portion of the kimberlite, to a depth of 350 metres.
As a result of 3D modelling of drill data the kimberlite tonnage rises to 48.6mln tonnes from 27mln tonnes.
"This highly significant increase in tonnage is excellent news for the project as it has the potential, if proven economic, to approximately double the current volume of kimberlite used in the scoping study with an overall positive impact of the project economics,” said executive chairman Martin Doyle.
"I am confident that our work programme going forward, which will include significantly more drilling, will continue to confirm our belief in the potential of Lemphane to be a very valuable resource of large diamonds."
Paragon believes Lemphane is similar to other prominent kimberlite pipes in Lesotho, like the Letšeng and Mothae diamond mines, it has relatively low overall grades but it also has larger, more valuable stones.
Like Letšeng and Mothae, owned by Gem Diamonds and Lucara respectively, mineral resources can only be established based on surface mining and/or extensive trial mining. As such the current tonnage estimates are not considered mineral resources.