Southern African diamond exploration company DiamondCorp has concluded the proposed transformations to the 1.2 million ton per annum processing plant at Lace diamond mine in the Free State province.

The modifications aimed at smooth transition of the plant to treatment of the underground kimberlite from tailings were related to the 47 level block cave development at the mine. It was completed within timeframe and budget.

Commissioning of the plant is underway with re-treatment of tailings to begin by the next week, according to the company.

DiamondCorp is planning to commence initial tailings retreatment operations on single shift with plans to increase it to two – three shift operations within 2013-end based on the market prices of the commodity. First sale is expected to be in September 2013.

The miner has accelerated surface and underground development during the period April to June 2013. Excavation of a new 66,000 bank cubic metre (bcm) boxcut is 75% complete with boxcut being three weeks behind schedule due to more competent ground.

However, the delay is anticipated to have no impact on the overall development schedule as the boxcut development is 40% under budget on a bcm basis, as a result of owner-operated fleet efficiencies.