- BlueRock Diamonds said production has continued to improve NS total tonnage for July was expected to be around 20,000 tonnes, an increase of over 35% on the 14,427 tonnes achieved for June.

The company said its target was to achieve monthly production of 25,000 tonnes during Q4.

The company said that in July a parcel of 330 carats was sold at tender, achieving an average of $395 per carat.

It said the diamonds produced and included in July's sales tender had resulted in a small increase to Kareevlei's average diamond grade achieved during 2017 from 1.6cpht to 1.7cpht.

Chief executive Adam Waugh said: "We are pleased to have achieved $395 per carat in the July tender, including our highest dollar per carat valuation to date of $7,054 for a 5.5 carat diamond.

"It is particularly pleasing to be achieving such a high average value for our production without relying on large diamonds. "We are encouraged by the increase in monthly production, following the mine, plant and design optimisation work undertaken this year, as we approach our target of 25,000 tonnes per month.

"As we move into deeper ground in line with our mine plan, following the final blast of upper level Kimberlite in early August, we expect grades to continue to improve.

"In the meantime we intend to provide further updates on the funding of our operations and developments as we progress towards operational profitability in due course."

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