Canadian Mining Journal

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DOING SOME DIGGING – Diamcor achieves success

The story of DIAMCOR MINING, which is recovering diamonds from tailings in South Africa, is a Canadian success stor...



The story of DIAMCOR MINING, which is recovering diamonds from tailings in South Africa, is a Canadian success story. Read on to find out what makes it particularly noteworthy.

With its head office in Kelowna, B.C., and operational offices in Kimberley, South Africa, Diamcor is a small Canadian-listed junior. Its main asset is the So Ver tailings retreatment project near Kimberley, the town where De Beers got its start 120 years ago. The company is managed by president and CEO Wayne Wolf in Canada and director of operations Dean Del Frari in South Africa.

Diamcor acquired approximately 53% of the property in October 2002. But it took a bit of litigation to unseat the minority partner before the company gained 100% control of the operator, So Ver Mine (Pty.), in April 2005. Then production commenced using the existing diamond recovery plant.

So Ver treats tailings from historical mines along a 3-km length of the Ardo Dyke System, where several active mines are also located. Diamcor is recovering an average of 1,500 to 2,000 carats of diamonds per month. For the quarter ended June 30, 2006, the plant treated 67,335 tonnes recovering a total of 5,856.92 carats. Sales grossed $409,300 minus the cost of sales ($331, 967) for a gross profit of $77,333. When expenses were subtracted, the company showed a quarterly loss of $188,703. Well, the operation is not turning a profit yet, but it may soon. Quarter-over-quarter revenues grew three-fold this year compared with 2005.

The So Ver diamonds vary in quality from industrial to gem, and the largest stone Diamcor has recovered weighs 13 carats. Perhaps like me, some readers are wondering how the previous operator missed a 13-ct stone. The bottom line was a little bonus for Diamcor. Otherwise, the average value of the diamonds is US$100/ct.

Now, as promised, are the reasons to remember the Diamcor story.

– The explorationist should remind himself that an obvious place to find diamonds is in a diamond mine. Look closely because the previous operator may have left something worthwhile behind.

– The accountant should remember that buying existing facilities (if they are suitable) is cheaper than building new ones.

– The “greens” should note that an existing waste problem is being reworked with new technologies that can go a long way toward cleaning up old mine sites.