DiamondCorp said last week it has reached agreement with a Botswana exploration company, Geoperspectives, to earn a 77.5 percent interest in three diamond exploration licences in the country.
According to a company statement, DiamondCorp has entered into an agreement with Geoperspectives to earn a 77.5 percent stake in three licences.
DiamondCorp would earn a controlling stake by completing a definite feasibility study within five years.
An initial work programme for the Botswana JV areas was being prepared.
Meanwhile, DiamondCorp reported that the commissioning process at its Lace mine had yielded 1, 533.95 ct of gem quality diamonds, including a 14,74ct clear white stone.The company sold these diamonds for R963 541, representing a price of $79/ct.
In addition, 292,61 ct of non- or near-gem diamonds were recovered. These were tendered and sold at $3,74/ct.
A further 2, 367.51 ct of gem diamonds recovered earlier in the year from tailings re-crush were also tendered and sold for R890,368, representing $47/ct.
"Demand for the Lace diamonds in May was strong as cutters and polishers sought to fill holes in inventories," commented MD and CEO Paul Loudon.
He added that the company expected the price to remain around these levels for the remainder of 2009, but said that no significant price appreciation was anticipated until the second-half of next year.
"The primary exploration target is kimberlite J-01 within Licence PL071/2007, which is approximately 8km southeast of De Beers Jwaneng Mine."
Previous limited exploration indicates J-01 has a possible size of 9.9ha and a potential grade of 35 carats per hundred tonnes.
"An initial work programme for the Botswana joint venture areas
DiamondCorp has also started commissioning the primary crushing circuit at its Lace mine, in South Africa's Free State province, paving the way for the processing of kimberlite from the Lace pipe to start again for the first time since 1930, CEO Paul Loudon said recently.
Commissioning of the new crusher completed the plant modifications required for the second phase of underground mining.
The initial mining rate from Phase 2 underground development at Lace is 1 000 t/d, with plans to increase this to 3, 000 t/d in the second half of 2009.
Over the next month, some 50, 000 t of kimberlitic material remaining from previous mining would be processed to commission the new crushing circuit. One the circuits operated to design specification, the plant would be purged and a bulk sample of kimberlite from the Satellite pipe would be processed to determine grade.
DiamondCorp would then proceed to start processing potentially high-grade coherent kimberlite, which it was accessing by a new drive of the 4m x 4m decline. The company would sell the diamonds recovered from the Satellite pipe sample to determine carat value.
Earlier this year, DiamondCorp sold a small parcel of diamonds recovered late last year from the Phase 1 Lace tailings re-treatment. Some 2,265.79 ct of gem diamonds were tendered in Johannesburg and sold for R922,807, representing a price of $39,51/ct.