Monday, September 16, 2013

Merlin Diamonds Recommissions Northern Territory Mine

Merlin Diamonds, formerly North Australian Diamonds, has recommenced production at its Merlin Diamond mine, which is located 100 kilometers south of Borroloola in Australia's Northern Territory. The mine had ceased production in 2003 after producing 507,000 carats. In 2002, Australia's largest diamond, a 104.73-carat stone that the company named the Gungulinya-Bunagina was recovered at the mine.

The company noted that the most recent parcel of diamonds from the mine was sold on the open market for $1.87 million in 2012.

The Merlin kimberlite field was first discovered by Ashton Mining in 1991. After periods of trial mining and feasibility studies, Rio Tinto acquired Ashton Mining and subsequently sold the mine to North Australian Diamonds Ltd. in 2004.

Since then, resource definition drilling and trial production indicated that the mine contains an estimated resource of 7.2 million carats, making it the second largest diamond reserve in Australia after Rio Tinto's Argyle diamond mine.

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