Rockwell to Sell Two Diamond Mines

Johannesburg: Rockwell Diamonds has put two of its diamond assets on the selling block to lift the company from its state of despair.

The junior miner said it started a process to sell the Remhoogte/Holsloot and Saxendrift mines in South Africa as part of a plan to streamline its operations by selling non-core assets. The miner had previously confirmed it was considering offers for some of its assets, but didn’t provide details.

The turnaround plan also includes measures to accelerate production at the Wouterspan mine to full volume of 200,000 cubic meters of ore per month. A plan to move its Holsloot processing plant to Wouterspan North will also increase monthly output by 60,000 cubic meters.

The announcement comes after a strategic review that followed disappointing results, with the company recording a loss in the second fiscal quarter as sales slumped 36 percent. Chief executive officer James Campbell resigned in September, and his successor, Tjaart Willemse, raised an alarm saying he inherited a business in a “state of despair.”

The review found the Remhoogte mine had been performing “below plan” and the construction of a new plant at Wouterspan was behind schedule and over budget. Production at Saxendrift was suspended in September because of “depletion of economic resources,” the miner said in October.

Rockwell’s board approved the plan for a business repositioning November 20, with the company saying it has secured $8 million of additional funding on similar terms to its existing loans.