- BlueRock Diamonds has exercised its option to draw down the remaining £50,000 of the £450,000 convertible loan notes announced on 17 October.

The funds will be used for general working capital purposes.

The company says that following the end of the trial mining period in November, it used funds from the issue of the convertible loan notes to invest in new plant and equipment to upgrade the existing facility. The new equipment includes two 16 foot rotary pans, one vertical shaft impact crusher, one jaw crusher, and four vibrating screens.

The company has now completed installation of the new equipment, will be configuring and testing the plant over the next two weeks and expects that the plant should be operating by the end of April.

In December, further blasting was undertaken in the K1 & K2 pits. Following the blasting, approximately 50,000 tonnes of kimberlite has been removed, pre-screened and is now stockpiled ready for processing.

During the trial mining period, BlueRock produced 575 carats which were sold for a total of US$142,995 - an average price of US$248 per carat. Whilst the directors note that the diamond parcel size is still relatively small, the average price per carat realised is approximately 36% higher than the US$183 per carat anticipated in the competent person's report published at the time of the company's admission to AIM.

The company says the board is confident that the new plant will enable BlueRock to reach commercial, profitable production and looks forward to updating shareholders with its progress in the near future.

At 8:09am: [LON:BRD] Bluerock Diamonds Plc Ord 1p share price was 0p at 12p

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