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Diamond Core moves ahead on SA gem projects


JSE-listed local diamond explorer Diamond Core has implemented the first phase of its growth path, with the commissioning of the 50 t/h dense-media separation (DMS) plant and final recovery unit at Paardeberg East, situated 40 km west of Kimberley.

Diamond Core is focused on, and currently active in, the Northern Cape province of South Africa, and is currently actively involved in two kimberlite exploration projects, the Paardeberg East project and the Skeyfontein joint venture and, through its acquisition of Samadi (SA), has a suite of three alluvial projects, Uitdraai and Silverstreams, and the De Kalk project some 30 km east of the town of Douglas.

The company also has submitted several applications to the Department of Minerals and Energy Affairs (DME) for additional prospecting rights in the Northern Cape.

Diamond Core was poised to start bulk sampling of PK1, its Paardeberg East project, it said in a note to shareholders on Friday.

Independent verification and auditing of the bulk sampling plant and process has been initiated with further drilling and geological work on PK3, scheduled for the second quarter of 2007.

In addition, construction of the processing plant at Silverstreams, located some 10 km north of Prieska was continuing.

However, the capital-spend for the project increased by 14% but was expected to yield an increase in front end capacity in excess of 400%.

Commissioning of the plant was scheduled for the middle of April 2007, and bulk sampling operations are scheduled to commence in the beginning of May 2007.

Meanwhile, Diamond Core has reported that the development of the Uitdraai and De Kalk projects would be the focus during the second quarter of 2007 upon completion of the Paardeberg East and Silverstreams projects.

Moreover, the company recently announced the conclusion of an agreement to acquire the Sanddrift project from Southern Era Management Services and Minex Projects.

Sanddrift was adjacent to the Silverstreams project and has the potential to add significantly to the alluvial gravel resources.

Additional exploration work has been performed on the Skeyfontein kimberlite project.

Diamond Core posted a headline loss of 2,51 c a share compared with the 5,76 c loss incurred the previous year for its interim results for the six month ended December 31.

The largest portion of the company’s exploration costs of R4,141-million (2005: R733 899) was related to the Paardeberg East project, while the capital expenditure of R83,6-million incurred, including earthmoving plant (R38,5-million) and processing plant (R42,6 million) for the Paardeberg East and Silverstreams projects



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