Southstone Minerals Ltd. [SML-TSXV] provided a production and operational update for December 1, 2019, to February 28, 2020 (Q2 2020), and March 1 to May 31, 2020 (Q3 2020), on its project portfolio in South Africa.
The Oena Project consists of one New Order Mining Lease located in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Oena is 8,800 hectares in size and covers a 4.8-km wide strip along a 15-km length of the lower Orange River. Southstone owns 43% of African Star Minerals (Pty) Limited which owns 100% of the property.
Southstone continues to focus and prioritize its efforts on the alluvial Oena diamond mine. There is currently one mining contractor on site using eight pan plants to process run-of-mine (ROM) material and one Bourevestnik (BVX) unit used for diamond recovery.
Production results for both Q1 and Q2 were impacted as a result of the mandatory closure of the mine for the period from March 26, 2020, to May 3, 2020, due to COVID-19. A total of 803.92 carats (112 diamonds) were produced, placed on tender and sold with an average price of US $1,957 per carat.
Bluedust Carats produced No. of stones US$/carat
Q2 2020 ROM 588.14 77 1,942
Q3 2020 ROM 215.78 35 2,001
The Oena diamond mine continues to produce very large and high-quality diamonds. For example, 52.62 carats (sold for US $127,975), 44.25 carats (US$243,000), and 37.03 carats ($188,962). Twenty other stones were greater than 10 carats.
Kwena Group, Republic of South Africa
Shareholders approved the disposition of the Kwena Group on May 15, 2020, and the company received final approval from the TSX Venture Exchange on the May 25, 2020. This disposition of the Kwena Group resulted in a total of 4,527,416 shares being returned to treasury and the forgiveness of outstanding indebtedness of the equivalent of $1.2-million.
Southstone agreed to settle an outstanding debt of $35,430 to two creditors by issuing 708,600 shares at $0.05 per share, subject to TSXV approval.