Gem Diamonds Botswana is pleased to announce that the Ghaghoo Diamond Mine project located in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is progressing according to plan.
The mine will be the first underground diamond mine in Botswana. The project progress further boosts investor confidence and gives assurance that the mine will be ready for commercial production in the second half of the year as anticipated.
The project reached a significant milestone at the end of November 2013 when it hit the kimberlite (the diamond bearing ore) a month before the expected time. Two mining levels have been established: Level Zero which is at 130 m below surface and Level One which is at 154m. The upper level has mainly been established to access the old workings in order to dewater the area and make it safe ahead of full production commencing on the level below. Level Zero will also be used for training of the underground operators.
The production level, Level One has been developed and three production tunnels have been established in the kimberlite. It is the ore from these tunnels that will be used to feed the treatment plant. The treatment plant is currently undergoing final commissioning in readiness for commercial production of diamonds. Ghaghoo mine is estimated to have a diamond resource of 20.5 million carats, with an in-situ value of US$ 4.6 billion. The mine is expected to produce 720 000 tons per annum at 30 carats per 100 tons, a production rate which could increase depending on the market and economics.