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Petra Diamonds - Alto Cuilo


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The statements from Adonis Pouroulis in the RNS of the AC63 results (29May07) are interesting to compare with what has been said in the latest minesite article.

RNS: "We are delighted with the grades already identified by this initial programme"

minesite: does concede that the grades were “not the best in the world”, but emphasises that they certainly weren’t catastrophically bad either.

I wouldn't have to look at dictionary to find a big difference between "delighted" and "not the best in the world". I don't have a problem with the statement in the RNS that more work is required to establish the best areas.


Next lets look at what he wants AC63 to be compared with AK6 of African Diamonds/De Beers/ Wati Ventures.

Well AK6 is almost guaranteed to be an open pit mine and then maybe an underground mine, how profitable to each party that's another matter. So AK6 has a average grade of >20 cpht, surface area <10ha and looks like having a strip ratio of <2:1 with ore starting within the 50m of surface and extending to 200m+ (I have deliberately used very conservative open pitable figures).


Now Adonis Pouroulis wants us to concentrate on the grade of 35.5cpht over 30 metres - ok it higher than AK6 but only 30 metres and in more detail this is part of a thicker area grading 22.7cpht over 90m so we are getting nearer to a comparison to aK6 but wait this 90m interval starts at 170m depth with low grades (0-3cpht over lying it including the top 79m of cover). This is looking more and more like an underground operation - which Petra does have strong experience in. Yes AC63 overall is 20ha but the areas of interest from results so far is smaller.


Now lets spread the net wider - Shore Gold's FALC (with Newmont) & Star projects, Firestone Diamonds's Tsabong project and Petra, BHP and their local partner's Alto Cuilo project. They have huge surface kimberlite expressions, due still retaining the crater facies, hence large tonnages but it comes down to what tonnage is economic not just part of a kimberlite. AC63 may have been Petra's best target but continuity will be more important than locally high grades so in the long run I would not be surprised if another target becomes the first mine.


Finally don't forget as much as grade is important without comparable diamond valuations the potential revenue figures could be significantly different.




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with adonis, you have to listen to both what he says, and doesnt say


be careful

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