Kimberley Diamonds Ltd, the Australian company– which is in the process of restarting the Lerala Diamond mine in Botswana– says it has no plans to selling the assets it describe as desirable to its portfolio.
The ASX listed mining company stated the ‘market rumours’ are false’ as the mine is its flagship project and as previously announced, it is working towards recommissioning Lerala in 2015.
“It has come to the Board’s attention that there have been rumours in the market that KDL is attempting or intending to sell Lerala,” the company said.
“Such rumours are not true. KDL has no intention of selling Lerala. Such transaction has not been considered by the Board or the management of KDL at any point and has never been discussed with any external parties.”
Kimberley Diamonds Chairman, Alex Alexander said recently that the Board has approved a total of A$14.7M which includes a 20 percent contingency to fund the restart of the Lerala operation which was placed on care and maintenance in July 2012 by the former owners Mantle Diamonds Limited.
The company said the capital expenditure and working capital will be funded by cash flow from on-going operations with any funding shortfall to be covered by either equity or debt raising. At 31 March, 2014, KDL had A$13.1M cash and no debt.
Already, the company has engaged Consulmet (Pty) Limited to undertake the detailing and design work required for the modifications of the plant at the mine.
Commissioning of Lerala is expected to commence in the first half of CY/2015. At full production, Lerala is expected to produce 400,000 carats of diamonds per year.
Lerala mine will be contract mined and consultants have been engaged to provide Lump Sum Turn Key pricing for the recommissioning of the operation and environmental consultants to analyse and advise on Health, Safety and Environmental aspects of Lerala.
Lerala is situated in north-east Botswana, 34km from the Martin’s Drift Border Post with South Africa, and comprises five diamondiferous kimberlite pipes. Lerala has a 15 year fully-permitted mining licence covering an area of 21.86km2.
Once in production, Lerala has a forecasted mine life of 7 years treating 1.4 million tonnes of ore per annum and producing an average of 357,000 carats per year. Consulmet specialises in the design, supply and construction of mineral processing plants, and has significant experience in designing plants for diamond producers, having operated in Africa since 1993.