A diamond mine in Botswana, owned by now extinct Australian miner Kimberley Diamonds, is going up for sale at an online auction to be held Monday, as its liquidators failed to secure viable offers, reports MINING.com.
The Lerala Mine was opened in 2008 and had to be shut twice due to weak sales, until it finally was placed under judicial management in May last year, leaving 130 people out of work and millions in unpaid bills.
MINING.com reports that Kimberley, which delisted from the ASX in March 2017, had targeted an annual output of about 360 000 ct over seven years, but Lerala yielded only 59 000 ct in the year leading up to its closure.
Some of the assets included in the sale are five kimberlite pipes ranging from 0.16 ha to 2.35 hain area, mining rights, a 200-metric tonne per hour processing plant, and a 4.2-megawatt diesel power generator, as listed in The Auctioneer.
Interested buyers must submit a refundable deposit of five-million pula ($509 000).
Botswana is the world's largest diamonds producer and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation.
The country is home to prolific diamond mines, including Lucara Diamond’s Karowe operation, where the now famous “Lesedi la Rona,” the largest diamond discovered in more than a century, was dug up in 2016.