Diamond company Stellar has announced that it will continue its mining activities in the western African nation of Sierra Leone after it received approval from the country's Ministry of Minerals Resources, Rough and Polished reported. The firm is still negotiating with the government after it refused to renew two other mining concessions in the country.
Stellar chief executive Karl Smithson said that the firm intends to continue drilling and evaluating with the goal of doubling the amount of known carats at the Tongo kimberlite dyke project, which is currently thought to hold approximately 660,000 carats of rough diamonds.
The Sierra Leonean government refused to renew two other licenses held by Stellar since 2005, but the company hopes it can convince officials to reconsider, since it says it has invested over $19 million in exploration activities at the Kono sites.
Stellar also operates a kimberlite project in Guinea, where it has a inferred resource base of over three million carats of diamonds, according to Rough and Polished.