Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Paragon Diamonds awarded Mining Licence
Paragon Diamonds Limited, the African-focused diamond development company, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a Mining Licence by the Lesotho Ministry of Mines for its 85% owned Lemphane Kimberlite project in Lesotho.
The Licence was approved and signed by the Minister of Mines, the Hon. Tlali Khasu MP, and received by the Company on 11October 2013. The Licence was issued in terms of Section 33 of the terms of the Mines and Minerals Act of 2005 and is for a duration of 10 years until 9 October 2023, and is renewable. The Licence is issued subject to the conditions of Section 59 (royalty) and Section 63 (fees) of the Act, and in accordance with the approved Programme of Mining.
The approved Programme of Mining is premised on a two year 'Stage 1' mine plan of 540,000 tonnes per annum, followed by an eight year 'Stage 2' mine plan of 3,000,000 tonnes per annum for an initial open-pit life of ten years.
The Company will provide an operational update shortly on the implementation of the 'Stage 1' mine plan, which is considerably enlarged from the original 200,000 tonnes annually thereby shortening the development path.
Negotiations regarding Government participation and royalty, as provided for under Section 44 and Sections 60/61 of the Act, are on-going at this time and expected to be in-line with other licences awarded to other mining operations in the region.
Stephen Grimmer, Managing Director of Paragon, commented:
"The award of the Mining Licence, following two years of considerable exploration and development work on the Lemphane Kimberlite, is a major milestone and step forward for the Company. I wish to express my thanks to our shareholders, staff, consultants and to the Basotho authorities for their support thus far. We now look forward to developing the Kingdom of Lesotho's newest diamond mine"
Martin Doyle, Chairman of Paragon, commented:
"The award of the Mining License is a significant event for the company and is the starting gun for the road to production. I am excited at the prospect of Paragon Diamonds becoming part of the select club of diamond producers in Lesotho. Our work to date indicates that The Lemphane Kimberlite has a potential multi-billion dollar resource. I look forward to the prospect of reporting on the recovery of exceptional gem diamonds for which the region is famous, such as the 12.47 carat blue diamond recovered from Letseng and recently sold by Gem Diamonds for a record $7.5m or $603,047 per carat."