Paragon Diamonds to raise its stake in

Paragon Diamonds seeks to conditionally increase its interest in the Lemphane Kimberlite project in Lesotho, owned by Meso Diamonds, to 100 percent from 85 percent.

The company, which already has projects in Lesotho, Botswana and Zambia, said it is moving toward the stage one mining development phase at the Lemphane Kimberlite project, a report by Mining.com says.

Stage one of a two-stage production program at Lemphane targets the mining of 500,000 tons per annum to recover an anticipated circa 10,000 carats per year. The acquisition is conditional on admission of the new ordinary shares to AIM, was expected to become effective on or around May 19, 2014.

Paragon will now hold 80 percent of the equity in the project, together with the Government of Lesotho holding 20 percent.

The company first undertook scoping study to design an operational model for the development of Lemphane in January this year.

There have been significant diamond discoveries in Lesotho in the past, a landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa, including a rare 12.47-carat blue diamond recovered by Gem Diamonds’ (LON:GEMD) last year.

Paragon Diamonds was down 2.10 percent to $3.50 recently.

Background:

Paragon Diamonds Limited is engaged in mining, exploration and development of mineral projects, acquisition of mineral resource licenses and investment in other mineral exploration and development companies.

The Company has operations across Africa, the main focus being on its diamondiferous kimberlite projects in Lesotho (Lemphane, Motete and Motete Plateau) plus additional projects in Zambia (Kaplamp), Botswana (Kopje) and Tanzania (Mabuki). The Lemphane Kimberlite project is located within the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Motete is a substantial multiple kimberlite dyke (fissure system) located approximately 10 kilometers from the Lemphane project and just 23 kilometers from Letseng diamond mine.

Kaplamp project is located in eastern Zambia and close to the Luangwa valley, an area hosting 14 Lamproite pipes within a diamondiferous region. In June 2014, Paragon Diamonds Ltd increased its interest in its Lesotho subsidiary, Meso Diamonds (Pty) Ltd from 85 percent to 100 percent.

Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa. It is just over 30,000 km² in size and has a population slightly over 2,000,000 (two million). Its capital and largest city is Maseru.

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