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Stellar Diamonds to start study for Sierra Leone’s Tongo-Tonguma project
Stellar Diamonds plc, a diamond exploration and development company focused on West Africa, announces that the Front End Engineering and Design study (“FEED”) for the underground mine development of the Tongo-Tonguma project (“Project”) has commenced. A team of five consultants from contractors Paradigm Project Management Pty Ltd (“PPM”) and SRK Consulting (“SRK”) have arrived on site to begin the various work streams associated with the FEED programme (see below).
Chief Executive Karl Smithson commented:
“We are pleased that the first key milestone in the mine development at Tongo-Tonguma has commenced. PPM are highly experienced in the delivery of diamond mine projects and together with SRK they will refine all elements of the mine plan as determined in the published PEA to higher levels of confidence in order to reduce the project delivery risk. With over 66,000 metres of drilling completed at the Project to date, we will drill of a further 9,000 metres of mine plan related drilling to a depth of 75 metres concurrent with the FEED study.”
The main objectives of the FEED study are to better define the technical requirements of the Project in order to ensure that the correct underground mine design is implemented and that the treatment plant design and layout is properly designed and the unit processes are clearly identified.
Although the combined Tongo-Tonguma projects have seen some 66,000 metres of drilling, approximately 9,000 metres of additional core drilling is intended to be undertaken at 50 metre intervals. The aim of this is to better define the near-surface geology of the kimberlites in resource with particular reference to siting of the decline portals, the declines and the development drives for the first two levels of mining to a depth of 75 metres below surface. Furthermore, the drilling will provide the necessary geotechnical and hydrogeological information for the initial years of mining.