The Heritage Diamond project can become operational in four months’ time, Vast Resources CEO Andrea Prelea has said.
Last August, Vast Resources reached an agreement with Red Mercury (Pvt) Ltd, a company owned by the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust for a joint venture to develop, mine and market diamonds produced from the Heritage Concession in the Marange Diamond Fields.
The Heritage Concession is close to Vast’s historic Marange Diamond Field claims.
Prelea has said the diamonds projects is a “near-term” project and the company is currently looking at the type of equipment they will need.
“The diamonds are very near-term. We can be operational once this goes through (the disposal of Pickstone Peerless). It can be operational in four months or sooner depending on the equipment that we are intent on buying.
“There are two options, one is a slower starter, which was using the DMS then move to the XRT, the other is going straight to the XRT, which has a much higher rate of recovery around 90 percent as opposed to 80 percent. And we also get a lot finer stones out of it so it’s much better,” he said.
“In a worst case scenario the diamonds operation can get operational by around US$5 million in capex in the next few months. Once we finalise the joint venture agreement (for the diamonds) which is close we can be in production in 3 or 4 months.”
Over the weekend, Vast announced that it has raised £600 000 in a share placement to help fund its operations at the Heritage Diamond Mine, as well as its Baita Plai metal mine in Romania.
It raised the funds through a placing of around 444 million shares at a price of 0,135 pence each.
According to management, the funds will be split equally between the Baita Plai and Heritage projects, with £300 000 used to maintain operations at the Romanian mine while the rest would be used as working capital at Heritage.
With regards to the diamond project, Vast has since established a special purpose vehicle between AIM-listed Botswana Diamonds plc (13,33 percent interest) and itself (86,87 percent interest) under which Botswana will provide to Vast free of charge the benefit of its know-how on all aspects of exploration, mining, processing and marketing in relation to the Heritage Concession.