BlueRock increases diamond resource

petra diamonds

BlueRock Diamonds (LON: BRD) has revealed a significantly increased resource at the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa. This means that the mine has at least ten years life even before additional exploration.

There was a 49% increase in resource to 10.4 million net tonnes and a 53% increase in net carats to 516,200. The overall grade has edged up to 5 carats per tonne.

There was also 19% of the resource upgraded to indicated resources. The indicated resource from the KV1 and KV2 pipes is 108,600 and it was nil previously.

BlueRock plans to produce one million tonnes per annum. Last year the figure was 402,000 tonnes. The mine was closed for 50 days during 2020.

The carats produced increased from 14,033 to 15,371, which represents a reduction in grade. The value per carat fell from $415 to $295.

Capacity

Poor weather has delayed the progress in installing equipment and increasing capacity. Both plants will be running during the first quarter, but the project may not be fully commissioned until early in the second quarter.  

This year management is aiming for production of at least 850,000 and diamond production of between 34,000 and 46,000 carats. That should be enough to make the operation significantly cash generative.

Prospects

There should be a further increase in resource once the exploration of the KV3 pipe has progressed further. Currently, two-fifths of KV3’s volume is included in the figure. None of that is included in the indicated resources.

The share price rose 6p to 62.5p when the resource statement was announced. That values BlueRock at £5.7m, while there is a convertible loan of £1.15m –the conversion price is above the current level.

BlueRock should be generating cash by the end of the year, although the amount will depend on the strength of the diamond price.