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BlueRock Cleared to Restart Mining

Nov 24, 2021 9:04 AM   By Rapaport News
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BlueRock Diamonds has resumed operations at its Kareevlei mine in South Africa following a weeklong shutdown over a possible safety breach.

During the closure, the miner opened a new plant that will increase its annual output to between 40,000 and 43,000 carats — nearly double its planned production for 2021. It expects to begin ramping up to full production soon, it said Tuesday.

“We are confident that given the experience of commissioning [the first plant, commissioning the second] should be relatively straightforward, which should enable us to fast track to full production,” said BlueRock executive chairman Mike Houston. “Pleasingly, the mine had, prior to the short suspension of mining activities, been building up stocks of crushed ore and will resume doing so until early December when [the new plant] is expected to be fully operational. These stocks will help sustain production.”

Last week, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) visited the site and issued a notice under Section 54 of the Mine Health and Safety Act, which enables inspectors to call for the suspension of mine operations if they identify possible danger.

The resulting shutdown impacted BlueRock’s cash-flow expectations, and it has been considering funding its December production through its existing relationship with Delgatto Diamond Finance, it explained.

“We were disappointed to be issued with the Section 54 notice and the time it took to resolve the issues raised,” Houston added. “We are now looking at how best to manage the working-capital impact of the lost production.”

Image: A rough diamond and loupe. (BlueRock Diamonds)
Tags: BlueRock, BlueRock Diamonds, DelGatto Diamond Finance, diamonds, Kareevlei, Kareevlei mine, Mike Houston, Rapaport News, Rough Diamonds, South Africa
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