BlueRock Diamonds, which owns the Kareevlei diamond mine in the Northern Cape, reports that it anticipates that the Kareevlei plant will resume the processing of run of mine material by the end of January 2017.
The work that started in late October to reposition the pans and scrubber is now finished ahead of time. This work is expected to improve the steady flow of material into the pans with subsequent efficiency and grade improvement. Testing of these modifications using stockpiled ore will take place over the next few weeks.
Operations at Kareevlei earlier this year (photo: BlueRock).
BlueRock says that orders have now been placed for the construction of new primary crushing and pre-screening circuits. These new elements of the operation are expected to be completed by mid-January 2017. This is the biggest change to BlueRock’s process and at the highest capital cost of approximately R2,5 million The company expects these changes to firstly reduce variable costs and secondly provide a more consistent product to the processing plant which should enhance processing efficiency and improve grade.
Regarding the mining operation at Kareevlei, BlueRock reports that – following a competitive tender – it has entered into a contract with African Mining and Crushing (AMC) to take over the drilling and blasting and loading and hauling work at the mine with operational and cost benefits expected to follow from this new relationship.
Assessment of water usage continues and the company is currently re-lining and repositioning the main primary water reservoir having discovered water leakage from the existing reservoir. This work is not expected to add materially to costs. In addition, the company continues to make key hires in order to support the anticipated gradual ramp up of production and move to 24-hour processing.
Adam Waugh, CEO commented, “I am pleased to be able to report the significant upgrades are all within budget and on time at this stage. We still have much to do before the planned production ramp up in January 2017 but I am confident our team can deliver what is required and I look forward to updating the market as we progress.”
The Kareevlei property is located approximately 100 km north-west of Kimberley and hosts the Kareevlei kimberlites – five kimberlite pipes ranging in size from less than a 0,5 ha to less than 5,6 ha. They were discovered in 1991 by De Beers.