Gibb River Diamonds has received the green light from Western Australian officials to mine at its Blina diamond project.
Gibb River Diamonds (ASX:GIB), formerly POZ Minerals, has received the green light to mine at its Blina diamond project.
The company said on Tuesday (December 11) that its mining proposal has been accepted by Western Australia’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).
Blina’s project management plan was also submitted to the DMIRS in October, and Gibb River received approval for it on December 7. With the two approvals now in hand, the project is considered “shovel ready,” and camp construction, bulk sampling, trial mining or full-scale mining can take place.
Additionally, a works approval license — needed to build a plant and tailings storage facility — has been reviewed by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).
The license was returned to Gibb River by DWER with terms and conditions that need to be fulfilled; the company says it is “satisfied” with the requirements and expects to have the permit issued within the next two weeks.
“The core focus of Gibb River Diamonds is to initiate bulk sampling and trial mining operations at the Blina diamond project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia,” Gibb River Executive Chairman Jim Richards said in a statement.
He continued, “[w]ith permitting to mine now in place, this next exciting phase of operations is now scheduled to commence at the end of the wet season early next year.”
The Blina project is in the Ellendale diamond province of the Kimberley region, and consists of four granted mining leases and exploration leases in a 436-square-kilometer area.
About 40 square kilometers of the project area is taken up by a diamond-bearing alluvial palaeochannel called Terrace 5, with the largest diamond ever recovered from the area weighing 8.43 carats.
According to the company, Terrace 5 has commonly produced high-quality stones over 2 carats, with a significant number of the diamonds being “Fancy Yellows.”
Alongside Gibb’s progress with Blina comes moves from the company to acquire the Ellendale diamond mine and mining lease, currently controlled by Western Australia’s state government.
The company put a bid forward for Ellendale on November 29, and Gibb River feels the acquisition would be “transformative” and would provide “enormous synergies” with the Blina project.
While the government has not specified a timeline for the bidding process, Gibb River says there have been indications that a company will be selected for Ellendale in 2019’s second quarter.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.