National Jeweler Network


Alluvial mines yield four 100-carat-plus diamonds


Vancouver, British Columbia--Rockwell Diamonds Inc., which mines alluvial deposits in South Africa, recently unearthed four pieces of rough weighing between 116 and 169 carats and plans to sell them in concert with Steinmetz Diamonds.

All four stones came from Rockwell’s operations in the Middle Orange River area of South Africa.

The company said it recovered stones weighing 116 and 138 carats at its Saxendrift processing plant from gravels that originated in the Saxendrift Extension pit.

In addition, a 126-carat and a 169-carat piece of rough were recovered from a recently opened mining area at the Saxendrift Hill Complex. The complex’s plant uses Bourevestnik X-ray technology, which was developed by Russian diamond miner Alrosa, in both the concentration and recovery areas.

Rockwell will sell all four stones at market value into a beneficiation joint venture with Steinmetz and will also get money once the stones are polished and sold.

The diamond mining company said its recovery of diamonds weighing between 20 and 100 carats has improved since its commissioned the complex and another mining area called Niewejaarskraal and integrated the Saxendrift Extension into the mine plan.

Rockwell Diamonds President and CEO James Campbell called the recovery of these four large rough diamonds a milestone in growing production in the Middle Orange River area.

He said it also speaks to the quality of the company’s recovery process, where technology, including bulk x-ray technology, has improved their ability to recover large stones.

Vancouver-based Rockwell operates and develops alluvial deposits, with the goal of becoming a mid-tier diamond production company. It currently mines three deposits, all in South Africa, has two development projects and a pipeline of earlier-stage projects.

“These plus-100 carat stones were recovered from two new mining areas, namely the Saxendrift Extension (acquired with the purchase of the Jasper project in March 2012) and the Saxendrift Hill Extension, and show tangible process within our strategy,” Campbell said.