In its project update for the dyke-1 sample at Tongo in Sierra Leone, Stellar Diamonds noted a resource grade of 120 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) an inferred resource of 660,000 carats. The sample confirmed high-quality diamond value, modeled between $225 per carat and $270 per carat, according to the company. In-situ contained diamond value estimated by Stellar to be between $148 million and $178 million to date. The news sent Stellar Diamonds' shares higher in London to close above 7 pence, or up 16 percent for the day.
Stellar Diamonds' chief executive Karl Smithson said, ''The maiden inferred resource for the Tongo project confirms its potential as a high-value, high-quality growth asset for the company. This is a significant milestone for Stellar Diamonds, as we look to extract value from our portfolio. The maiden resource at Tongo provides a very strong base from which to move forward with our strategy focused on accelerating our kimberlite projects through to production.''
Smithson added that there is 25 percent of the mapped strike of its dyke-1 yet to be drilled and there is considerable potential to expand the resource with depth. ''Similar operational kimberlite dyke-hosted diamond deposits in South Africa are mined to a depth of 700 meters below surface. Furthermore, additional resource potential exists from other nearby kimberlite dykes, including the 1 kilometer long dyke-4, which has recently been bulk sampled and returned a diamond grade of 109 cpht and an average diamond value of $100 per carat,'' he said.
Stellar is planning the next phase of resource development work at the Tongo project, with the objective of increasing the resource base and adding further value to the project.