Canadian junior Shear Diamonds Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:SRM) announced today it’s begun processing diamonds from the stockpiles at its Jericho diamond mine in Nunavut.
Nearly 3,500 carats have been recovered from 358 tonnes after the first 10 full days of processing, the company said. adding that it aims to focus on the processing of these stockpiles for the next 10 months.
After the valuation of these stones in late May, the diamonds and all future recovery from Jericho, other than diamonds subject to a first option by the holder, will be delivered to Tache Company for market sale.
"It is incredibly gratifying for the entire Shear team to see the first recovered diamonds from Jericho since its shutdown in early 2008," said Shear Diamonds' chief executive, Julie Lassonde. "We are seeing daily improvements in tonnage processed as well as recoveries as we continue to ramp up during the re-commissioning of the recovery portion of the diamond recovery plant."
Shear's immediate goals for the recovery project are expected to demonstrate that a significant number of diamonds were not recovered during Jericho's previous operation, and to generate cash flow in support of operations while the junior miner acquires key processing knowledge that can be applied to future production.
There have been significant operational challenges in restarting Jericho, says Shear Diamonds, including balancing processes and fine-tuning the general flowsheet, basic maintenance and legacy repair issues from being closed three years, recruitment and training of personnel, as well as significant electrical and software malfunctions.
Shear holds a 100% interest in its recently acquired Jericho Diamond Mine and surrounding exploration assets, located in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.