Australian company, Kimberley Diamonds Ltd (KDL) said it will continue operations at its Ellendale Diamond Mine in Western Australia into FY2016. The ASX listed outfit has in the past said it anticipated Ellendale would need to be placed on care and maintenance from May 2015 due to uncertainty as to the economic viability of continued operations.
Extensive work has since been undertaken by KDL’s management team to extend the economic viability of the mine through increased efficiencies and reduced costs, now allowing the company to continue processing operations at Ellendale into FY2016.
The mine is situated approximately 120km east of Derby, the West Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Ellendale Diamond Mine comprises three lamproite pipes, which have a JORC Resource – E9, E4 and E4 satellite, with mining having previously been undertaken at both the E9 Mine (mining ceased in Q1/2015) and the E4 Mine (mining ceased in 2009). The E9 and E4 Mines also have associated surface stockpiles – E9 has both low grade ore and coarse tailings (lights) stockpiles and E4 has a run of mine ore stockpile.
KDL added that as part of its ongoing operations into FY2016, it plans to commence the processing of stockpiles from Ellendale’s E4 Mine, which has been on care and maintenance since 2009. Higher grades are expected from the E4 stockpiles than those being recovered from the E9 stockpiles.
“The continuation of processing operations at Ellendale into FY2016 is a great result for KDL and reflects the hard work of the KDL Management team and the team on site at Ellendale, who have worked tirelessly on improving efficiency and productivity at the mine, and exploring options for the processing of stockpiles from our E4 Mine,” KDL Managing Director Noel Halgreen said.
“KDL’s Ellendale Diamond Mine is the world’s leading source of rare fancy yellow diamonds, and ongoing operations will see continued access to an increasingly rare product in the diamond market,” he added.
The company stated that it intends that operations at Ellendale into FY2016 will be on the processing of low grade stockpiles from the E9 Mine to continue until early May 2015, at which time it is anticipated that the E9 low grade stockpiles will be depleted.
Then from early May 2015, KDL will begin the load and haul of ore stockpiles from the E4 Mine, transporting them to the E9 Mine to be processed at the E9 plant, together with some material from the E9 lights stockpile and on completion of the E4 stockpiles, KDL will then continue to process lights from the E9 Mine, which it currently anticipates will continue until the end of 2015.