By Oscar Nkala
ASX-listed Frontier Diamonds Limited says it has recovered the first rough diamonds from the ongoing exploration programme at Bellsbank Pipe concession in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.
The Bellsbank Pipe is a satellite prospect zone located about 10 km away from Sedibeng Diamond Mine, the company’s established operation.
In a statement issued on March 7, Frontier Diamonds chief executive Jan Louw said the recovery of diamonds within the first 20-metre section of kimberlite material offered strong possibilities of further gem recoveries down the Bellsbank Pipe. The largest gem recovered weighed 1.45 carats.
“The quality of diamonds recovered from the plant commissioning sample is very encouraging and supports our decision to proceed to the next phase in developing the asset. We are proceeding with an economic assessment of the Bellsbank Pipe.
“The newly commissioned plant facilities give us the added advantage of performing the bulk sampling programme at a relatively low overall cost, and in an expedited manner,” Louw said.
The company said it will now focus on increasing the pit layout to facilitate access to the primary kimberlite pipe for bulk sampling. The results will be reported upon completion of the sampling operation.