Diamonds from Sierra Leone are known to
be of unusual size and quality. These diamonds are usually
dug up from no more than 35 feet of ground by teams of men
using only shovels and pans. PRIDE proposes a different model
– currently in use by a few other companies in Sierra
Leone, but common around the world – earth-moving machinery
(dredges, bulldozers, excavators, etc.).
PRIDE's use of modern machines will exponentially increase the rate at which earth can be moved and diamonds extracted. The average worker with a shovel can move approximately one ton of earth per day. A modern excavator appropriate for this kind of mining can move that much earth every thirty seconds. This not only increases the profitability of the Company but allows money to be transferred to aid agencies. PRIDE believes that local officials will give their best lands to companies like ours that bring both efficient operations and a fair rate of return to their people. Companies looking to take advantage of the dire situation of the people of Sierra Leone and offer unfair returns will likely find themselves mining poorer gravel or none at all. Therefore, PRIDE's socially responsible model can actually lead to a lower per-carat cost while returning more money to the local people.
PRIDE intends to hire a geological team
and provide the team with the state-of-the-art ground-penetrating
radar (GPR) tools they need to perform accurate analysis for
successful mining. These GPR systems are able to give an accurate
three-dimensional and two-dimensional reading down through
the overburden and gravel, all the way to the bedrock. Following
the GPR, PRIDE will gather additional information by drawing
core samples with a sonic drill to better determine the land's
potential richness. Analysis of these samples can provide
an accurate measure of the depths of the overburden and gravel.
The geologists can also sift through the gravel to approximate
its diamond-bearing richness. These geologists will lead the
way in determining where pits should be started, balancing
the amount of overburden against the anticipated depth and
richness of gravel. These advanced and expensive techniques
are not available to most diggers using just shovels in Sierra
Leone, and it is the Company's hope that it will average higher
than the .35 carats per ton that is the average for the nation.