BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) has said it is well on track with expansion plans at its Kareevlei mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa.
The crushing circuit will be completed by the end of 2020 and will be commissioned in early January 2021. The rest of the plant is expected to be installed in phases during the first quarter of 2021.
The expansion allows for a 75% boost to processing capacity to 130,000 tonnes.
The company said it continues to advance its overall expansion strategy to bring volumes up to a million tonnes per year.
To support this, BlueRock has also been drilling to boost the resource base.
A completed drilling programme has now established the continuation at depth of kimberlite in the KV1 section of the main pit to 140 metres below surface, and an increase in surface area of the KV1 section by approximately 25%.
Overall, the new provisional resource estimate has increased tonnes by 43%, carats by 52%, and grade by 6%.
“The results generated from the recent drilling, are a very important development for BlueRock,” said executive chairman Mike Houston in a statement.
“The provisional resource estimate would provide for a mine life of a minimum of 10 years operating at our targeted annual rate of a million tonnes of material processed a year. The company expects to undertake further work in 2021 to prove the continuation at depth of the KV2 section of the main pit and to establish the true size of KV3 both of which are expected to increase the resource and the life of mine further.”