BlueRock Diamonds Plc (LON:BRD), in an update following the restart of operations in South Africa, told investors that it has had no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Kareevlei mine.
Production has averaged almost 2,000 tons per day since May 11, the company noted. The rate is up 65% on the average daily rate in the fourth quarter of 2019, which at the time was a record performance with 110,000 tons.
At the end of May, the company said it had some 2,400 carats worth of diamonds in stock.
"The team at BlueRock is delighted with production of 41,500 tons in the 21 day period following the start-up on 11 May 2020 at an average of almost 2,000 tonnes a day,” Mike Houston, Bluerock executive chairman said in a statement.
“The modifications made to the primary crushing circuit and the introduction of the third pan together with the processing of softer near-surface material have allowed us to increase production at minimal cost whilst also reducing operating costs. The amalgamation of KV1 and KV2, which will provide considerable flexibility to our mining operation, is progressing well and is expected to be fully operational in Q3 2020.”
Houston noted that whilst the amalgamation is ongoing the company will be processing a higher proportion of lower grade near-surface materials though he expects the company will be mining in higher grade areas towards the end of June.
Diamonds currently in stock have been an average of 3.14 carats per hundred tons, and the company said it is confident that grades will return back above 4 carats per hundred tons as seen in 2019.