Kimberley Diamonds Ltd (KDL) said it has entered into a contract for the open pit mining operations that are due to commence in March at the Lerala Diamond Mine in Botswana.
“The mining contract was awarded to Basil Read Botswana (Pty) Limited (Basil Read) following a two-stage competitive tender process in which eight qualified companies competed for selection into a shortlist of three selected companies, from which BRMB was ultimately selected,” the Australian company said.
The contract covers the initial five years of mining at a total value of around $A47 million at current exchange rates and may be extended further. Basil Read is scheduled to mobilise staff and equipment to Lerala during the current month while mining is anticipated to commence during March.
“KDL intends that Basil Read will commence mobilising its staff and equipment to Lerala Diamond Mine during February 2016. Open cut mining operations are expected to commence during March 2016 and production is scheduled to reach nominal output, in line with commissioning of the processing plant, around June 2016,” Kimberley said in a market update.
“KDL looks forward to working with Basil Read during the re-commissioning and subsequent mining operations at Lerala Diamond Mine. Working together, the mine is expected to generate employment and income within the local Lerala community, contribute to the Botswana national economy and become an important source of income for KDL.”
Basil Read Holdings Limited (Basil Read) is one of the leading construction companies in Southern Africa and has more than six decades of construction and open cut mining expertise.
Listed within the heavy construction segment of the industrial sector of the JSE Limited (JSE) in South Africa, Basil Read is active in civil engineering projects, road construction, building, mixeduse integrated housing developments, property development, open cut mining and related services. Basil Read Mining Division provides contract mining services across sub-Saharan Africa.
The company undertook projects in joint venture contract at Beeshoek mine for Assmang, in South Africa; five-year contract for Weatherly International plc at the Tschudi copper project in Namibia and was involved in the contract for phase 2 at Jwaneng mine for Debswana as part of the Majwe Mining joint venture.
The re-commissioning of the Lerala mine has been postponed on a number of occasions to allow Kimberley Diamonds to find appropriate funding either from operating cash flow or external sources. Lerala is situated in north-east Botswana, 34km from the Martin’s Drift Border Post with South Africa, and comprises five diamondiferous kimberlite pipes. The mine has a 15 year fully-permitted mining licence covering an area of 21.86km2 and at full production, it is expected to produce 400,000 carats of diamonds per year.