Open pit mining operations have started at the Lerala diamond mine, in Botswana, ASX-listed Kimberley Diamonds reported on Monday.
The miner was planning first production and diamond recovery later this month, with diamond sales expected by June.
In the meantime, plant construction activities continued to progress well despite recent delays experienced owing to higher-than-normal rainfall experienced on site. It was expected that plant construction would be completed by mid-April, with recommissioning expected later this month.
Construction of the tailings dam extension also started in March and was progressing on schedule to accept tailings in April. The construction of the new dry tailings conveyor system also started in March.
Once in production, the Lerala mine was forecast to have a life of some seven years, treating 1.4-million tonnes of ore a year and producing an average of 357 000 ct/y.
Source: Mining Weekly