- BlueRock Diamonds has given a further operation update following the announcement made on 9 December.

BlueRock says an additional 70,000 tonnes of the calcrete overburden has been excavated to a depth of between 8 to 10 metres from the north west side of pipes K1 and K2.

Weathered kimberlite has been encountered at lower levels albeit diluted with calcretised kimberlite as expected.

Approximately 750 tonnes of diluted kimberlite mixture has been processed through the DMS plant and sorted - the 'initial processing'. Drilling and blasting of the floor of the open pit from approximately 8 to 20 metres from surface has now been completed. The processing of this weathered kimberlite material is expected to occur during March 2014. BlueRock says that following the initial refurbishment and commissioning of the DMS processing plant which commenced in December, further work was required to improve the crushing circuits in order to increase the front-end plant capacity. This work was completed in January and since then the DMS plant has been shown to operate for sustained periods above the expected 25tph.

Accordingly, it remains the board's expectation that operational capacity of 12,000 tonnes per month is achievable using the existing plant during the trial mining phase. The final recovery plant has also been recommissioned successfully.

But it says that due to unusually heavy rain during the first half of February, the plant was only fully operational towards the end of the month when the initial processing took place.

The company says that the first diamonds were recovered from the initial processing although the volume processed is too small to be statistically significant.

The company will assess its recovery on a continuous basis and will report its findings once a statistically significant sample is recovered.

At 8:27am: [LON:BRD] share price was +1p at 13.75p

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