BlueRock Diamonds will continue with the Kareevlei care and maintenance as South Africa extended its lockdown to the end of April, a senior company official has said.
“The extension has no direct impact upon our strategy and we continue to ensure that we minimise costs whilst we are in care and maintenance and to explore alternative ways to commercialise our product so that we are best placed to fire up production as soon as we are able,” said company chairperson Mike Houston.
As part of its strategy, announced earlier this month, BlueRock decided to place the Kareevlei operation in the Kimberley region on care and maintenance, with only a small team retained on site to ensure that the plant and machinery is kept in working order and can be brought into production at short notice.
It also reduced costs to an absolute minimum with all but essential staff furloughed.
Agreements with suppliers were deferred and expansion plans were also put on hold.
Houston said they will explore alternative ways to commercialise their product so that they are best placed to fire up production as soon as the situation normalises.
Kareevlei has an on-surface stockpile of 30,000 t of run-of-mine and crushed material, which equates to about 15 days production.
This, it said, will be used to enable a swift return to target production levels.