There's diamond in them thar hills! (North America's first large-scale diamond mine)


Redaurum which has extensive diamond mining operations in South Africa and Zimbabwe has begun work on the first large-scale diamond mine in the USA. This will bring Redaurum's total annual production to over 75,000 carats per year, making it one of the biggest operators in the field.

North America's first large scale diamond mine has started commercial production at Kelsey Lake, close to the state border of Colorado and Wyoming. The new mine is expected to produce more than 25,000 carats of diamonds in its first year, mainly of gem quality, for its owners Redaurum Ltd, which also owns diamond mines in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Production at Kelsey Lake will be increased gradually to 150,000 carats a year in 1996-97.

Redaurum is a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange but British managed and with shares traded in London. It will be seeking a full listing on the London Stock Exchange early in 1996.

Mr Anthony Hamilton, President and Chief Executive of Redaurum, said "We think Kelsey Lake diamond mine will excite a lot of Americans who have not believed, until now that is, that the USA has quality diamonds in any quantity. We have met with a lot of scepticism, but we are now about to prove that there is not only 'gold in them thar hills' but gem diamonds as well."

The start of commercial production at Kelsey Lake brings the number of Redaurum's operating mines to four with three others in Southern Africa. Total production from all of Redaurum's operations is anticipated to exceed 750,000 carats annually from 1997.

Redaurum and Auridiam Consolidated NL of Australia are equal joint venture partners in the kimberlite River Ranch diamond mine in Zimbabwe, close to the border with South Africa at Beit Bridge. Production at the River Ranch mine continues to rise following the commissioning of the stage III treatment plant in November which will increase ore treatment to 2m tonnes a year and produce above 450,000 carats of diamonds a year. A gem diamond of 65 carat has since been recovered.

Work is also continuing on the development of Redaurum's alluvial diamond mines at Quaggas Kop and Avontuur in South Africa. Redaurum completed the acquisition of an 80% interest in the Avontuur diamond mine and took over management control of the operation last month. The Avontuur mine is a producing alluvial diamond mine from a 796 acre property on the west coast of South Africa near Hondeklip Bay. The area is famous for its alluvial gem diamonds...

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