Work hard and you will find success

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Star recovers 3,005 diamonds from bulk sampling project, bemoans diamond breakage

20 october 2020
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Image credit: Star Diamond


Star Diamond has recovered 3,005 diamonds weighing 131.82 carats from the fourth bulk sample trench (19FALCT010) of 10 excavated on the Star Kimberlite by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada.
The three largest diamonds recovered to date from 19FALCT010 are 2.69, 2.03 and 1.26 carats, respectively, and were all recovered from the Early Joli Fou (EJF) kimberlite. 
The EJF is the dominant kimberlite unit within the project in terms of ore volume and diamond grade.
Company chief executive Ken MacNeill said the promising results from the most recent bulk sampling programme continue to confirm their belief that the Star-Orion South project has excellent geology with large and contiguous diamond-bearing kimberlites with a high proportion of valuable Type IIa stones and potential for large stones.
"We are encouraged by the consistency of the initial results among all four bulk samples processed to date, their similarity to historical drilling, and their consistency with the grades outlined in our Preliminary Economic Analysis," he said.
"The results to date continue to validate our belief in the significant economic merit of the Star-Orion South project."
MacNeill, however, said that Rio Tinto Canada's extraction and diamond recovery methodologies, including its use of unproven civil engineering trenching technologies to conduct bulk sampling of Kimberlite, is causing undue diamond breakage.
He said this was causing unnecessary cost overruns and materially damaging Star Diamond's interest in the project.  
"Star Diamond continues to vigorously pursue the litigation it previously commenced against Rio Tinto Canada related to the project and is committed to taking all actions necessary to protect Star Diamond and its shareholders from the practices and conduct of Rio Tinto Canada including if necessary by seeking to remove Rio Tinto Canada from the project," he said. 
The Preliminary Economic Analysis, released in 2018, estimated that 66 million carats of diamonds could be recovered in a surface mine over the 38-year project life.
Kimberlite material from eight trenches has so far been processed by Rio Tinto Canada through the on-site Bulk Sample Plant, with concentrates forwarded to the Saskatchewan Research Council for diamond recovery and reporting. 

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished