Sierra Leone informed Stellar Diamonds that the Ministry of Mines ought not to have granted the renewal of the company's Kono licenses in 2010, thus revoked mineral rights. Stellar Diamonds informed shareholders today that it disputes the assertions and is seeking clarity on the Ministry's position. The company has not received a similar statement for its Tongo exploration license, which was renewed in November 2011, according to the company.
Stellar's chief executive, Karl Smithson, said, ''Whilst this uncertainty is frustrating and unfortunate, we strongly believe that our legal tenure over the Kono licenses is intact and will be engaging with the Ministry of Mines to clarify and then satisfactorily resolve this issue.
"Over the past 12 months we have been conducting exploration and bulk sampling over the Lion kimberlite dyke project which is strategically located in the Kono diamond district. The company has recently announced independent resource estimates from our key projects of Droujba and Tongo where we have established an initial resource base of 2.5 million carats and 0.66 million carats respectively," he said.