Kimberley Diamonds said production restarted at its Lerala Diamond Mine in Botswana after nine months of upgrading and recommissioning. First diamond sales are expected in June, the Australian Securities Exchange-listed miner said.
Kimberley Diamonds carried out modifications that allow the plant to reliably treat and recover diamonds at a nominal rate of 200 tonnes per hour. Despite a delay because of a need to explore a potential alluvial deposit, ore processing has commenced. Production will be ramped up to full levels “over the next several weeks.”
The Lerala Mine, situated in north-east Botswana, comprises a cluster of five diamondiferous kimberlite pipes totalling 6.66 hectares in size, together with a processing and recovery infrastructure. Since acquiring the mine in 2012, KDL has sought to refurbish and recommission the existing processing facility to reliably process 200 tph kimberlite ore.
Mining at Lerala recommenced in mid April 2016. The first kimberlite ore was put through the refurbished processing plant on the 30 April 2016, with diamonds being recovered soon after. The inaugural diamond sale is scheduled for June 2016.
Lerala is a village in Central District of Botswana. The village is located at the south-eastern end of the Tswapong Hills, 30 km from the Limpopo River and the border with Zimbabwe and approximately 90 km east of Palapye.