Stellar Diamonds recovered a 55-carat gem at its Baoulé kimberlite pipe in Guinea, which the company claims as evidence that the mine is a potential source of large diamonds.
The stone appears to have a ‘boart’ – or fragmented – exterior and a potentially better-quality diamond on the interior, according to a statement by the West Africa-focused diamond-development company January 25.
“We are extremely encouraged to have recovered this 55-carat stone as it confirms that the Baoulé pipe is a possible source of the large diamonds which have been mined in alluvial deposits downstream of the Baoulé pipe for many years,” said Karl Smithson, Stellar’s chief executive officer, adding that “several” of these had weighed more than 100 carats.
Trial mining began in late November 2015 after the rainy season. Extraction of the kimberlite started in December. Processing of material continues for 16 hours each day. The company is currently on track to finalize the trial mining and processing of 100,000 tonnes in the third quarter, the statement said.
To date, 8,043 carats have been recovered from Baoulé, with a grade of 12.7 carats per hundred tonnes. A total of 610 stones weighing more than 1 carat each have been yielded.