Tuesday, October 27, 2020

AK6 on schedule for production in two years

African Diamonds has praised Botswana as “the best diamond address and the street name is Orapa area” as the company positions itself to start commercial mining of the hard rock diamonds in 2011.

James Campbell, the company’s managing director, told Sunday Standard that “production at AK6 is scheduled to start in April 2011.”

AK6 is a joint venture between De Beers, African Diamonds and Debwat and is closer to Orapa Mine which is the world’s biggest diamond mine.

“AK 6 Mine is the only significant commercial hard-rock diamond discovery in recent history,” he said, adding that it is located close to Orapa.
Production from the mine will be sold to Diamond Trading Company Botswana on the same terms as Debswana.

The proposed AK 6 mine is expected to yield 8.9 million carats at an average grade of 22 carats modeled at US $ 139 per carat.

“There are significant quantities of rare, high value of Type II diamonds,” he said.

The exploration exercise carried out by De Beers following the joint venture through the use of its new technology found out that the kimberliteÔÇöthe volcanic rock deposit containing diamonds ÔÇô was much larger than originally thought.

It also contained the rare nitrogen free gemstone deposits found in 45-carat Hope diamond in the Smithsonian in New York and Cullinan diamonds which are part of the Crown Jewels.

African Diamonds said it is being emboldened by the diamond price increase which went up by 20-to-30 percent during the first quarter of this year, adding that the operating costs are still considerably lower at US $ 9 per tonne.

The company said there are some other resources such as AK8 and is confident that they could be mined as a feeder to AK6. It estimates the carat value for AK8 at US 35- 190 per carat.

One of the resources is AK 9 which it said has a potential of being feeder to the AK6 mine.

The proposed AK6 mine lies 15 kilometers south-east of the Letlhakane Village is expected to produce its first gem diamonds by 2011.

“We are looking at something as big as Letlhakane mine both in terms of production per carat and the quality.
“And what we are going to do is not complicated; it is a question of building a quarry,” Chairman of African Diamonds, John Teeling, had said .
“We are looking at producing 600, 000 (gem quality ) carats in the first year, and thereafter production will pickup to the range of 1.2 million ÔÇôto- 1.5 million carats per annum,” Teeling said.

The exploration exercise carried out by De Beers following the joint venture through the use of its new technology found out that the kimberliteÔÇöthe volcanic rock deposit containing diamonds ÔÇô was much larger than originally thought.

The mine will initially be an open cast with a life-span of between 12 ÔÇôand- 15 years at the depth of about 200 meters. It also has a provision for an underground which will stretch its life-span to possibly 30 years.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Ministry pilots Hotel and Tourism at Maun Senior

MAUN: Maun Senior Secondary School has been earmarked to pilot a multiple pathways program focusing on Hotel and Tourism as part of...