Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rockwell's S. Africa Diamond Production +12% in 3Q

Rockwell Diamonds reported that combined production at its Saxendrift, Klipdam and Tirisano projects in South Africa rose 12 percent year on year to 5,950 carats in the third fiscal quarter that ended on November 31, 2012. The company noted that the increase came despite operational challenges and ongoing industrial action at its Tirisano mine.

Production at Saxendrift rose 26 percent to 2,444 carats with 633 carats recovered at the Saxendrift bulk x-ray project. However, production at Tirisano fell 69 percent to 1,244 carats, while Klipdam yielded 1,975 carats, down 9 percent from one year ago.

"Our overall throughput and diamond production volume are consistently tracking closer to expectations," said James Campbell, Rockwell's chief executive.

During the quarter, the company signed a three-year mining agreement with CML to outsource mining operations at its Klipdam mine in an effort to reduce high unit costs and improve earth-moving capabilities. This resulted in the mine exceeding its objectives, Rockwell said.

Since the quarter closed, the company  placed its Tirisano mine on care and maintenance in early December due to persistent industrial action and continuous financial losses, which resulted from a slower than anticipated recovery in the price of smaller diamonds that accounts for much of Tirisano’s production. A total of 381 carats were recovered at the mine during the quarter.

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