June 8, 2009

Guinea Production & Exploration Update

  • The Bomboko Alluvial Diamond Mine is on stream
  • The Droujba kimberlites are being drilled

The board of West African Diamonds plc, the AIM listed diamonds and precious metals explorer and developer (AIM: WAD), is pleased to provide an update on activities in Guinea.

Production commenced at the Bomboko Mine in April, using a small 10 foot pan plant and a 14 tonne excavator. The full scale plant, a 16 foot pan and a 46 tonne excavator are on site and currently being commissioned. The cost of commissioning will be met from the sale of gold mining equipment in Sierra Leone and from diamond revenue. This will take production from 10 tonnes to 80 tonnes an hour on a three shifts per day basis. Current operating costs of US$7.50 a tonne is targeted to fall to US$5.00 a tonne with full production.

To date, a total of 261.6 carats have been produced from 4,200 tonnes of gravel, giving a grade of 6.2 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht). Visual observation indicates that 60% of the stones are gem quality and includes three stones weighing 9.71, 7.52 and 5.26 carats.

The diamonds will not be sold until there is an adequate parcel to get a representative value but, historically, gemstones from the Bomboko are of good quality and obtain good prices.

During the current wet season, a stockpile of 10,000 tonnes of gravel will be used to feed the pan plant. Once the larger plant is operational the current, smaller plant will be used as a “prospector” unit ahead of the main plant.


Drilling is ongoing to test the anomalies discovered from the detailed ground geophysics undertaken by West African Diamonds. A mobile Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant has been commissioned on site. Bulk sampling will commence when the current drilling programme concludes.

This release has been reviewed by Alex van Zyl, Technical Director, West African Diamonds plc. Alex van Zyl (B.Sc. Stellenbosch, B.Sc. Hons. Pretoria) spent a long career in Anglo American in the diamond division, ending up 1990 to 1997 with
worldwide responsibility for diamond exploration and evaluation. He was a consultant to De Beers from 1997 to 2002.

James Campbell, Deputy Chairman of West African Diamonds, commented:

“It is a tribute to our team on the ground in Guinea that our Bomboko Mine came on stream as scheduled and within cost. We are pleased with the grade and quality of diamonds being discovered. All equipment necessary to expand to 30,000 tonnes a month throughput is on site and being commissioned”.


West African Diamonds
John Teeling, Chairman +353 1 833 2833
James Campbell, Deputy Chairman +27 83 457 3724
Blue Oar Securities plc +44 (0)20 7448 4400
Andrew Raca
College Hill +44 (0) 20 7457 2020
Paddy Blewer
Nick Elwes