First diamonds from Tongo mine in Sierra Leone hit the market

Antwerp—The first sale of rough diamonds from Tongo, a new diamond mine in Sierra Leone, will take place later this month at the Bonas Group offices in Antwerp.

Newfield Resources Ltd.the company developing the mine announced at the end of April that it had signed an exclusive diamond sales and marketing agreement with Bonas for the production of the mine.

Through its partnership with Bonas, Tongo’s goods will be tracked from mine to market using Sarine Technologies’ traceability program, Newfield said.

The mine, which has been in the works for more than a decade, is “well known for its high-quality materials,” Bonas said.

The Tongo material tender visits will take place on the first floor of the Bonas Group offices in Antwerp from 16 to 20 May.

The sale is set to close on May 20 at 1 p.m. CET / 7 a.m. EDT and will be the highest online bidding on Newfieldbids.com.

Bookings for the tender are by invitation only, but applications can be submitted to Bonas Antwerp. Interested clients are asked to call the office on +32 (0) 3233 7080.

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Based in Australia, Newfield has been developing the Tongo Diamond project since 2018, when it acquired the site from Stellar Diamonds.

The project comprises two adjacent mining licenses covering a combined area of ​​134 square kilometers (approximately 52 square miles) in eastern Sierra Leone with five primary kimberlite pipes.

The first two pipes that Newfield will operate have been named Kundu and Lando.

Newfield said subsurface and surface processing at Kundu continues to yield “encouraging results”, with a high proportion of what is recovered turning out to be gem-quality diamonds.

Tongo is expected to produce 8.3 million carats of diamonds over its lifetime, including an indicated and inferred resource of 3.03 million carats at Lando and 2.76 million carats at Kundu.

Newfield employed 200 people at the mine as of March 31, including graduate trainees, contractors and interns. Of those 200, 166 (83%) are local Sierra Leoneans and 128 (64%) have permanent employment contracts, he said.

Twelve percent (about 20 people) of local employees are women. Newfield said he intended to increase the number of women working at the mine, in line with his diversity policy.

In addition to Tongo in Sierra Leone, Newfield conducts diamond exploration activities in neighboring Liberia through two permits covering 670 square kilometers (approximately 259 square miles), known collectively as the Kumgbo Kimberlite Project.

Sarah C. Figueiredo