[miningmx.com] — DIAMOND exploration company African Diamonds on Thursday said it expected the AK6 diamond mine in Botswana to come on stream in the third quarter of 2011.
“Board approval is expected at the end of June for the final AK6 feasibility studies
(African Diamonds 40% and Lucara 60%),” said African Diamonds in a statement.
While this is a month later than the company’s initial predictions of completing the
feasibility study in late May, delivery of the mine has been brought forward by a
quarter, having originally been targeted for the fourth quarter of 2011.
African Diamond chairman John Teeling said in March that the pace of
development at AK6 was accelerating.
Teeling said the company’s partner, Lucara, shared its objectives to bring the mine
on stream as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“The mine will come on stream at the perfect time; prices and demand are high. The recent valuation report has also vindicated our view that AK6 will produce high
quality beautiful stones,” Teeling said at the time.
In the meantime, the company is ramping up exploration on its 100% owned
Botswana exploration licences.
It said the focus was on three Orapa kimberlites, each with the potential to be
standalone or feeder mines to the AK6 mine.
Following a detailed review of earlier work done on kimberlites AK8, AK9 and
BK5, an 800 reverse circulation drill hole programme will commence in the coming
weeks at a cost of approximately $1m.
The purpose of the drilling is to accurately delineate the size of each kimberlite and
to estimate microdiamond and heavy mineral grades.
“The close to surface/outcropping areas of the AK8 and AK9 kimberlites, where
extensive data already exists, will be the principal targets. BK5 is at an earlier stage of exploration but has significant potential,” the company said.