Gaborone: The De Beers Group of Companies yesterday announced its intention to explore the extension of the operating life of mine of its Kimberley Mines Tailings Operation beyond 2018 by placing the mine on the market. The Company has been investigating ways to extend the economic life of its tailings-based mining operation in Kimberley. In the past decade the mine has taken steps to sustain the operation and succeeded in maintaining production in economically challenging times.
Phillip Barton, CEO, De Beers Consolidated Mines, stated: “It is encouraging that our work, to date, in considering all options, has shown that Kimberley Mines may not have to close in the near future. We are liaising with directly affected stakeholders outlining feasible options to extend the potential of the mine and its assets. We are engaging fully with employees, union representatives, and with government at national and other levels; most importantly with the Northern Cape government and the Municipality. The asset has a superb team of managers and operators, and we are keen to offer the mine as a going concern to facilitate a greater degree of job security. The mine is De Beers’ second largest producer in South Africa with production in2014 of 722,000 carats. With an appropriate operator, this asset has potential into the next decade.”
The Company hopes to close the ‘expression of interest’ phase, and conclude a sales agreement, in a matter of months. It is critical that, thereafter, the transfer of the asset to the new owner meets all regulatory requirements, and is handled with appropriate care to avoid unnecessary delay and the consequent depletion of the diamond resource for the new operator.