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BHP's Q1 diamond output jumps 53 percent
 

TORONTO, CANADA, April 29, 2009 [AFNS] – BHP Billiton’s diamond output jumped 53 percent in the first quarter of this year due to a rise in the amount of ore processed and the higher grades it achieved at the Ekati mine in Canada's North West Territories in which it has an 80-percent stake.

BHP's part of the output from Ekati, soared to 951,000 carats from 620,000 carats in the first three months of 2008.

BHP said the amount of ore it processed at Ekati rose 29 percent to 1.3 million metric tons.

BHP Billiton also commented that it foresees the mix of ore processed at Ekati changing from time to time as it moves to underground mining from open-pit methods. Consequently, the mine's output dropped by 7 percent to 2.3 million carats from June last year to the end of March in spite of a 10 percent increase in the amount of ore processed.
 
A service of the Antwerp Facets News Service (AFNS).