Aim-listed BlueRock Diamonds on Tuesday reported a 12% year-on-year increase in mined tonnage at its Kareevlei mine, in Kimberley, to 42 409 t for the first quarter of this year.
This was achieved despite a temporary eight-day suspension in mining operations in February.
The diamond producer sold 1 847 ct of diamonds in the first quarter – an 18% year-on-year increase.
An average grade of 3.41 carats per hundred tonnes was achieved, which was 4% above the average for 2018, while the average price per carat for the three months was $371 – 10% above the average for 2018.
CEO Adam Waugh said the fact that the average price per carat remained high was a reflection of the company’s high quality of diamonds.
The company had also recovered and sold two large diamonds – an 8.97 ct diamond that sold for $74 513 and a 16.28 ct diamond that sold for $78 947 – during the quarter.
“We have further work to do in improving our operations and look forward to updating the market on our plans and production guidance for the full year in due course,” said Waugh.