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Bluerock Diamonds targets increased throughput at Kareevlei in second half

In a production update, the AIM-listed diamond miner said production in the first half of the year was up 81% year-on-year at 73,028 tonnes
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The group also said it had commenced mining at its second kimberlite pipe, KV1

Bluerock Diamonds Plc (LON:BRD) is targeting increased throughput in the second half of the financial year as it expected grades to improve at its Kareevlei diamond mine.

In a production update, the AIM-listed diamond miner said production in the first half of the year was up 81% year-on-year at 73,028 tonnes, with production for the second half expected to be between 150,000-175,000 tonnes assuming no halts in production.

WATCH: Bluerock Diamonds targets increased throughput at Kareevlei in second half

The group also said it had commenced mining at its second kimberlite pipe, KV1, which has an inferred grade of 6.3 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) and was expected to contribute in the 2018 financial year with results from first production expected in the third quarter.

Bluerock also said it was targeting an average grad for the full-year at around 3.5-4.5 cpht, up from the 2017 average of 2.45 cpht.

The firm was also advancing plans to up its crushing capacity in the third quarter to support the expected increased throughput in the second half of the year.

For the second quarter, the company suffered a small decline in production due to poor weather conditions and a fault in its crushing circuit. The mine proceeded 34,247 tonnes in the period from the KV2 pipe, down from 38,247 in the first quarter, while average grade mined slipped to 2.45 cpht from 3.8cpht.

Adam Waugh, Bluerock chief executive, said: “Having commenced mining in June at our second kimberlite pipe, KV1, which has an inferred grade of 6.3 cpht against KV2's inferred grade of 4.5 cpht, we hope to see both production and grades increase during H2 2018.

He added: “Additionally, to make up the lost tonnage from H1 due to unanticipated downtime and to provide crushed stockpile for the wet season in H1 2019, we are focused on increasing our crushing capacity from the existing circuit to fully unlock the value in our 7,984,000 tonne Inferred Mineral Resource at the project, which has a potential in-ground value of circa US$130mln”.

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