The De Beers Group of Companies has announced its intention to “explore the extension of the operating life of the Kimberley Mines Tailings operation beyond 2018”, by placing the mine on the market.
The company has been investigating ways it can extend the economic life of its mining operation in Kimberley.
De Beers Consolidated Mines chief executive officer, Phillip Barton, stated: “It is encouraging that our work, to date, in considering all options, has shown that the 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.”
Barton continued: “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 in 2014 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.