Sunday, June 16, 2024

Gem Diamonds to auction Ghaghoo lot in early 2015

Gem Diamonds said it will hold auction for Ghaghoo mine production by next year as work continues with minor refinements to the treatment plant in readiness for full production.

The London listed diamond company said in the Management Report for the third quarter period of 2014 that development is progressing in the first four production tunnels on Level 1 following the official opening of the mine in September.

According to the report, as at the end of the period, 4 028 carats have been recovered at Ghaghoo and it has been decided to hold the initial sale alongside the Letšeng sale in February 2015 to allow existing customers to participate.

“The official opening of the Ghaghoo mine was an important milestone for the company. We are pleased to have completed the construction of the mine on time and within budget and to have overcome the challenges posed by developing a decline through some 80 meters of sand,” Gem Diamonds’ CEO, Clifford Elphick said.

“The first sale of the Ghaghoo production will occur in February 2015 to coincide with the first Let┼íeng sale in 2015,” he added.

The mine has entered a transition phase from a capital project to an operating mine and the Development is currently progressing in four production tunnels within the kimberlite on Level 1.

Gem Diamonds said the significant volume of water flowing in from a fissure within the basalt country rock on Level 1 has been managed efficiently and the final sealing of the fissure is in progress.

“The tunnels in the old sampling level (140m below surface) were intersected during August 2014. These tunnels are now accessible and have been dewatered, fully inspected and made safe in the targeted VKSE part of the orebody. The second ventilation hole has been completed and work is progressing to link the first and second ventilation holes.”

“The significant ingress of water has impacted planned development rates and as such, it is now envisaged that the monthly production rate is likely to be achieved by the end of Q1 2015. A training stope has been developed on Level 0 which will be used to provide ore to complete the optimisation of the treatment plant during the latter part of 2014 as planned,” it added.

The company said this optimisation process will improve liberation and recovery efficiencies in readiness for full production. The plant has so far demonstrated its capability to treat at greater than 90 percent of planned feed rate.

Ghaghoo, the first underground diamond mine to be developed in the country, will produce 720 000 tons per annum at 30 carats per 100 tons, a production rate which could increase depending on the market and economics.

The mine was opened officially by President Ian Khama in September despite objections by Survival International, an NGO which speaks for the Basarwa that were removed from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) to pave way for the diamond project.

“The mine opening has also exposed Botswana’s commitment to conservation as window dressing. The government falsely claims that the Bushmen’s presence in the reserve is “incompatible with wildlife conservation,” while allowing a diamond mine and fracking exploration to go ahead on their land,” the UK based organisation complained.

However, Gem Diamonds has claimed it continues to work closely with its project affected communities to ensure that the social projects implemented continue to be sustainable.


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