Paragon Diamonds Finance Boss Reports Significant Progress at AGM
Paragon Diamonds Ltd has had a year of significant progress as it moves closer to its goal of transforming into a cash-generative diamond exploration and production company in Africa.
Simon Retter, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, was due to make an upbeat statement at the company's Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held today.
In a statement, he said: “We have a solid portfolio of multi-stage projects in world-class diamondiferous regions of Africa where we be believe we can deliver significant value for shareholders.”
In Lesotho, the AIM-listed company’s flagship large stone/high value Lemphane kimberlite project is on course to commence production in the near term.
He said that Paragon’s other diamond projects in Botswana and Zambia provide a highly prospective pipeline which the company would look to advance along the development curve.
“In addition we continue to evaluate strategic and corporate opportunities to diversify our offering and will expose our shareholders to as much of the value chain as possible,” he said.
Lemphane is believed to be the last world-class kimberlite to be developed in Lesotho and is located close to Gem Diamonds’ Letseng pipe which is renowned for the recovery of exceptionally large and valuable diamonds.
Results from an independent size frequency and revenue modelling report highlighted that preliminary diamond values from Stage 1 production would be between US$930 – US$1,025/carat for grades of 2 carats per hundred tonnes while the size frequency study indicated that 12 percent of carats will be over 9cts.
Significantly, the report predicted the recovery of exceptionally large sized diamonds of 100+ carats, even in the early stages of production.
Retter said: “The remainder of 2014 looks to be a highly exciting period for Paragon Diamonds as we move to stage 1 production, subject to completing financing.
“We expect to report on further drilling at Lemphane and also a scoping study which we expect will upgrade the already attractive economics of Lemphane.”
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.