(Sharecast News) - BlueRock Diamonds updated the market on third quarter production at the Kareevlei mine in South Africa on Tuesday, reporting record tonnage, carats and grades for the period.
The AIM-traded firm said tonnes sorted were up 34% year-on-year to a record 123,727 tonnes, while carats produced rose 40% to a record 5,577 carats.
A record grade was also achieved, at 4.51 carats per hundred tonnes for the quarter, up from the previous record of 4.3 carats per hundred tonnes in the third quarter of 2019.
"Volumes have been strong even though we are still using our old plant; this bodes well for the future," said executive chairman Mike Houston.
"The increase in grade to 4.51 cpht is particularly pleasing as it follows a period of low grade whilst we concentrated on creating the main pit.
"We are confident that we will be able to meet or exceed our long term guidance of between 4.0 and 4.6 carats per hundred tonnes."
Houston said the company estimated that the average price per carat was about 10% down on the same period in 2019, excluding higher value stones.
The price per carat in the third quarter of 2019 reflected the sale of four high value stones, which sold for a total of $0.45m, while in the third quarter of 2020 it sold one higher value stone, valued at $0.1m.
"I am also pleased to report that the expansion project is well under way and we fully expect the new plant to be commissioned by the end of the year as planned," Houston added,
At 1107 BST, shares in BlueRock Diamonds were up 0.93% at 59.75p.
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