Namakwa output surpasses expectations

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MASERU — Namakwa Diamond Limited says it produced 4 712 carats in its Lesotho operations during the three-month period beginning September 1 to November 24.

In its interim management statement Namakwa Diamond said pre-production mining was at 15 000 tons per month and is scheduled to run until August next year.

The company said diamond “prices were well ahead of management expectation”.

In October, sales returned average prices of US$340/ct (K6 hardrock) and US$200/ct (K-Other weathered) based on parcel of 6 298 carats, the statement said.

The company also said it was preparing the site for commercial production beginning September next year.

“October 2010 sale results demonstrate the intrinsic value of an integrated downstream business, as mined product was parcelled to appeal to a bespoke customer base, increasing returns on run-of-mine production estimations made by Venmyn in its 2010 Competent Person’s Report,” said the mine in the statement.

Commenting on the results, Namakwa Diamond chief executive Nico Kruger said:

“The start of the financial year has been positive. Results of the late October 2010 sale of Namakwa and Storm Mountain Diamonds production were above expectations and demonstrate that the group’s different types of production from the mining division’s ramped-up operations meets the demands of the Trading Beneficiation Division’s diverse global customer reach.

“Assets that we consolidated or acquired in the low point of the valuation cycle in 2009 by leveraging our balance sheet are delivering increased production to meet this demand, and the equity fundraising announced today will enhance the group’s position by ring-fencing the capital requirements for the Phase One development of Kao and recapitalising our business for enhanced shareholder growth,” Kruger said. 

The government of Lesotho earlier this year granted a mining lease to the Kao Kimberlite pipe to Namakwa Batla Diamonds Limited, a joint venture between Namakwa, Batla Minerals SA, Lesotho investors and the government of Lesotho.

At 19.8 hectares, the main kimberlite pipe at Kao is the largest in Lesotho and the fourth largest in southern Africa.

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