RAPAPORT... Stellar Diamonds commenced a second resource expansion drilling of the 660,000 carat dyke 1 kimberlite at its Tongo diamond project in eastern Sierra Leone. The company's chief executive, Karl Smithson, explained that they are focused on significantly expanding the resource available from Tongo.
''This drilling and evaluation program is designed to double Tongo’s existing inferred diamond resource to over 1.2 million carats,'' he said. ''The previously announced resource has a grade of 120 carats per hundred tonnes and a modeled diamond value of between $225 and $270 per carat, demonstrating the strength on Tongo within the Stellar portfolio.''
Stellar Diamonds intends to embark upon a pre-feasibility study in order to better define the economics of this resource prior to the onset of underground trial mining. ''At current grades and diamond values, the in-situ value of the dyke 1 kimberlite is estimated by the company to be almost $300 per tonne, making it potentially one of the highest known value per tonne kimberlites globally,'' Smithson said. ''We expect the completion of drilling and upgrade of the resource statement during the fourth quarter of this year and I look forward to updating shareholders as we progress.''
CAE Mining Africa has been appointed to oversee the exploration drilling program, independently verify the technical data collected and update the current resource model with this technical data. An updated independent resource report will be compiled and issued by CAE Mining Africa on completion of the exercise, currently expected for early fourth quarter of 2012.