Paragon Diamonds increases plant processing rate at Lesotho

Paragon Diamonds has increased the plant process rate at its Lesotho Lemphane Kimberlite Project to over 230 tonnes per day and has completed the processing of two additional kimberlite samples.

Paragon Diamonds has increased the plant process rate at its Lesotho Lemphane Kimberlite Project to over 230 tonnes per day and has completed the processing of two additional kimberlite samples.

In an operational update issued on Tuesday, the group said 3,371 tonnes and 1,201 tonnes had been processed in the two additional kimberlite samples.

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The group said that the 3,371 tonne sample, labelled P5, yielded the largest diamond recovered to date at Lemphane, an 8.86 carat yellow dodecahedron.

The same sample also produced four other diamonds above one carat for a total of 35.35 carats at a grade of 1.24 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht).

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To date the company has processed 14,401 tonnes of a planned total 35,000 tonnes and has recovered 201.79, for an average recovered sample grade of 1.62 cpht.

Stephen Grimmer, Managing Director of Paragon Diamonds, commented: "The largest stone recovered to date helps to confirm our view of Lemphane as potentially a large diamond producer - this single stone represents 5% of the total carats recovered so far."

He added: "Importantly, over one third of all carats to date are in diamonds of one carat or greater. It clearly shows that with increased sampling, further and larger diamonds should be forthcoming in-line with statistical projections. We also expect improvement in the grade as sampling increases - the recovery of a single large stone can have a disproportionately positive effect on the total carats, and thus on the grade, as has already been demonstrated."

Paragon Diamonds' share price was unchanged at 8.75p at 12:08 on Monday.

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