Canadian diamond miner grows output from South African mine

Canada’s Diamcor Mining (TSX-V.DMI), announced today that following its previous release on the initial tender of 2,606.50 carats of rough diamonds recovered from resumed processing exercises at the company’s Krone-Endora at Venetia Project in South Africa, it delivered an additional 5,335.83 carats of rough diamonds before the end of October. The tender for the rocks will be completed in November.

The Kelowna-based miner said that 2,277.47 carats of the rough diamonds were recovered as part of planned refinements to the project's screening systems, and were sold for more than $400,000 or an average price of $189.55 per carat.

The company said that the recovery of larger diamonds was not expected because most of the material processed consisted of smaller size fractions from the lower grade upper zone of the project, a strategy that was aimed at testing the refined systems’ ability to remove fines under 1.0mm in size at higher volumes.

"Efforts to perform planned refinements on the crushing and screening systems installed continue to progress well. Our focus is now on ramping up both the volume of material being processed and the inclusion of all size fractions up to 40.0mm", said Diamcor CEO, Dean Taylor, in a press release. "The changes have reduced the volume of fines being delivered to the main treatment plant as desired and, given that, significantly reduced the challenges those fines have caused with regard to water consumption and recycling,” he added.

Diamcor bought the Krone-Endora at Venetia Project back in 2011. It consists of the prospecting rights over the farms Krone 104 and Endora 66, which represent a combined surface area of approximately 5,888 hectares directly adjacent to De Beers' flagship Venetia Diamond Mine in the northern Limpopo province. Currently, only 657.71 hectares have a mining right.

The deposits on the properties have been identified as higher-grade alluvial which are covered by lower-grade upper eluvial deposits. According to Diamcor, the formations there allow for a very low-cost mining operation to be employed with the potential for near-term diamond production from a known high-quality source.

Now, the miner wants is focusing on revising the crushing and screening at the in-field screening plants so that future processing allows for increased volumes and the inclusion of all size fractions up to 40.0mm.