- Stellar Diamonds [LON:STEL] said the trial mining exercise at Baoule has been successfully completed, ahead of schedule, through the processing of over 100,000 tonnes of kimberlite from the eastern and western lobes of the 5 hectare pipe.

A total of 929 stones greater than 1 carat have been yielded including numerous high value gem and fancy coloured (yellow) diamonds. Additionally as announced on 15 March 2016, one 55 carat stone has been recovered, which confirms the Company's belief that the Baoule pipe is a source of large diamonds that are renowned in the Aredor area of Guinea.

The results show a clear difference in grade and diamond quality between the eastern and western lobes, with the volumetrically larger eastern lobe being of higher grade and quality.

With the higher grade area identified, Stellar intends to sell a further 3,188 carats later in June, with these diamonds all arising from the western lobe.

This planned sale will add to US$1 million generated to-date from diamonds sold, which has contributed significantly to the costs of the exercise.

"We will then complete the necessary diamond grade and value modelling as part of the resource estimation exercise, with our resource target remaining approximately 3 million carats contained within the Baoule pipe," the company said.

"This will then allow us to formulate the next development steps for the project."

Separately, Stellar has entered into an unsecured loan facility agreement with existing shareholders Altus Strategies Limited and Deutsche Balaton AG to provide funding to the Company of £465,000 in aggregate, of which £325,000 is to be provided by Altus and £140,000 by Deutsche Balaton.

The proceeds of the Loan will be used for working capital purposes as the Company advances its mining licence application for its Tongo kimberlite project in Sierra Leone and establishes a maiden resource at its Baoulee kimberlite project in Guinea.

The Loan is repayable six months following the date of the Agreement, or as otherwise agreed from time to time and bears interest at a rate of 20% per annum, payable in arrears. Stellar may prepay all or part of the Loan at any time, subject to a minimum prepayment amount.

The Loan agreement includes customary terms and conditions, including agreement to use best endeavours to sell certain non-core assets (namely plant and equipment) to repay the Loan in the event of default.

* * *

The sector's biggest risers were Galantas Gold [LON:GAL] and Herencia Resources [LON:HER] - up by more than 34.8% and over 27.2% respectively. The biggest fallers were Sunrise Resources [LON:SRES] and Tertiary Minerals [LON:TYM] - down by more than 15.5% and over 9% respectively.

At 4:15pm:

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.38p at 4.13p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was 0p at 33p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +3.65p at 113.65p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was -0.25p at 22.38p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.15p at 4.25p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 30.5p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +20.5p at 1234.5p

[LON:GAL] Galantas Gold Corporation share price was +1.88p at 7.25p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -7.37p at 136.63p

[LON:HER] Herencia Resources PLC share price was +0.01p at 0.04p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -2.25p at 159.25p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was +0.03p at 0.78p

[LON:SRES] Sunrise Resources PLC share price was -0.03p at 0.2p

[LON:STEL] Stellar Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 6.5p

[LON:TYM] Tertiary Minerals PLC share price was -0.13p at 1.25p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -15.2p at 384.8p

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