BlueRock Diamonds Plc (LON:BRD) said its second quarter production performance was “very pleasing” as the operator of the Kareevlei Diamond mine in South Africa revealed a rebound in production following a Coronavirus (COVID-19)-hampered 2020.
Friday’s production report showed the Kareevlei diamond mine processed 134,510 tonnes in the 2021 quarter, up 48% from 90,830 tonnes a year ago. Grades were marked at 4.05 carats per hundred tonne (CPHT) this year versus 2.76 cpht.
A total of 5,442 carats of diamonds were produced in Q2 2021, up 117% from 2,510. Sales tallied 5,106 carats, up from 2,413 carats. Prices also improved significantly, rising 48% year-on-year to US$427.8 per carat.
“It is difficult to compare production and sales numbers versus 2020 where COVID-19 impacted materially on the operations and the market,” said chairman Mike Houston. “However, the Q2 figures are very pleasing with the tonnes processed a record and achieved whilst the operation is transitioning to the new plant.”
“Furthermore, the grade has been consistent and the average size and quality of diamonds excellent as reflected in the sales price achieved.”
Houston added: “The market has remained firm throughout the quarter with a strong buyer presence at the local tenders and a robust demand for the Kareevlei product.
“The overall market outlook is positive with a tightness on the rough diamond supply side and a growing retail sector as global economies continue to open up.”
The BlueRock chair noted that the COVID-19 situation has recently deteriorated in South Africa but said that to date that has not impacted on the mine operations or projects to expand the project.