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Exploration and mine development up to 2.5 times more costly in Canada’s North

By: Henry Lazenby A new study has found that the cost to explore and build new mines is as much as 2.5 times higher in northern Canada, mainly as a result of a lack of critical infrastructure. The study, titled ‘Levelling the Playing Field’, found that the cost of mineral exploration and building and operating... 

Paragon to buy Lucara's Lesotho asset for $8.5m

By: Henry Lazenby Aim-listed precious gem explorer Paragon Diamonds will buy Botswana-focused Lurara Diamond Corp’s Mothae diamond project, in Lesotho, for $8.5-million in cash. The two companies on Monday announced that they had entered into a memorandum of understanding that would see Lucara sell, subject to... 

Zimbabwe suspends tax on diamond sales – letter to IMF

By: Reuters Zimbabwe has temporarily suspended a 15% tax on diamond sales, citing a drop in production and low international gem prices, the finance minister and central bank governor said in a letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The southern African country last October ordered diamond mining... 

Lace mine on schedule for mid-year start-up

By: Megan van Wyngaardt The Lace diamond mine, in the Free State, was on track for mining operations to start in the second half of this year, Southern African diamond development and exploration company DiamondCorp reiterated on Thursday. In a project update, the dual-listed company noted that it had now drilled 3 321... 

Lace mine on schedule for mid-year start-up

World bourses prepare to confront diamond troubles at global gathering

By: Natalie Greve The presidents of World Federation of Diamond Bourses- (WFDB-) affiliated exchanges worldwide are making preparations ahead of the 2015 Presidents Meeting, which the federation believes will be one of the most important assemblies of its kind ever held, in light of the issues facing the global... 

World bourses prepare to confront diamond troubles at global gathering

Firestone signs debt facility with RCF

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Aim-listed Firestone Diamonds has signed a $15-million standby debt facility with mining-focused private equity firm Resource Capital Fund (RCF) to satisfy one of the remaining conditions to the drawdown of its Absa debt facility, it told shareholders on Thursday. The purpose of the standby debt... 

Petra plans $300m notes issue to fund R1.65bn overhaul of 68-yr-old Cullinan plant

By: Natalie Greve Jersey-headquartered Petra Diamonds plans to launch a $300-million notes issue and increase its senior lender debt facilities to fund the construction of a R1.65-billion processing plant at the Cullinan mine, in South Africa, by the end of 2017. The group outlined on Friday that it intended to... 

Petra plans $300m notes issue to fund R1.65bn overhaul of 68-yr-old Cullinan plant
Cullinan mine

Anglo American sees solid Q1

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Global miner Anglo American on Thursday reported that its first quarter for the year delivered a solid production performance, in line with expectations. Although its South African iron-ore mines were facing some challenges, compounded by a weak iron-price, the company reported a 71%... 

Anglo American sees solid Q1

Flawless 100 ct diamond sells for $22.1m at NY auction

By: Reuters An eye-popping, 100 ct diamond, the highlight of a magnificent jewels sale in New York on Tuesday, sold for $22.1-million, Sotheby's auction house said. The perfect classic emerald-cut D colour diamond, which is about the size of a walnut and was mined by De Beers in Southern Africa, was... 

Rio Tinto's Zimbabwe diamond production falls 42% in Q1

By: Reuters Rio Tinto said production at its Murowa diamond mine in Zimbabwe fell 42% in the first quarter after a planned shutdown and a decision to cut output as it sought clarity on a new export tax. Zimbabwe's government in January introduced a 15% export tax on unrefined platinum and there was confusion... 

Rockwell Diamonds sees 13% increase in carat output

By: Megan van Wyngaardt TSX-listed Rockwell Diamonds has seen a 13% increase in carat production from its Middle Orange River operations in the three months to February 28, but highlighted that the grade was lower at 0.34 ct/100 m3. The diamond miner noted that the higher output was owing to better performance on... 

Guinea trial mining delivers high yields for Stellar

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Trial mining at the 5 ha Baoulé kimberlite pipe, in Guinea, has yielded a total of 5 087 ct to date, at an average grade of 13.5 ct per hundred tons (cpht), Aim-listed Stellar Diamonds said on Monday. The West Africa-focused company noted that the first sale of 733 gem-quality carats from Baoulé,... 

Diamcor sold 4 619 ct in Q4

By: Megan van Wyngaardt TSX-V-listed Diamcor Mining sold 4 619 ct of rough diamonds, worth $842 419, in the three months to March 31. The company, which owned the Krone-Endora at Venetia mine, in South Africa, had recovered an additional 650 ct of rough diamonds in the fourth quarter of the 2015 financial year, prior to... 

Mwana Africa lifts Q4 output despite challenges

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Despite numerous challenges, Aim-listed Mwana Africa increased gold production at its Freda Rebecca mine and nickel concentrate output at its Trojan mine, in Zimbabwe, during the three months ended March 31. The diversified miner noted in a statement to shareholders on Thursday that it had... 

Petra Diamonds share price tumbles on grade woes

By: Martin Creamer The share price of Petra fell sharply on Thursday on grade variability issues and 31% lower overall revenue in the three months to March 31. In the absence of the previous corresponding quarter’s $25.6-million “exceptional stone” as well as product-mix changes and lower grades, revenue fell to... 

Petra Diamonds share price tumbles on grade woes
Photo by Duane Daws
Johan Dippenaar

Botswana Diamonds, Alrosa JV awarded exploration licences

By: Natalie Greve The government of Botswana has awarded three prospecting licences to Sunland Minerals, the exploration joint venture (JV) company owned by Aim-listed Botswana Diamonds and Russian diamond producer Alrosa. Botswana Diamonds said on Wednesday that the centrally located licence areas, which cover 46... 

Golden Saint gets go-ahead for bulk sampling at Sierra Leone projects

By: Megan van Wyngaardt The Sierra Leone National Minerals Agency has given Aim-listed diamond development company Golden Saint Resources formal approval to start bulk sampling at its Tongo licence and its Moa project. This was in addition to the existing approval to conduct bulk sampling at its Baja project. 

Norton Rose Fulbright advises on $370m financing of world’s largest new diamond project

By: Henry Lazenby Global legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright’s teams in London, Ottawa and Toronto have successfully advised a syndicate of Canadian and international lenders on the financing of the Gahcho Kué diamond project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NT), which reached financial close on Tuesday. The... 

Debswana to cap output due to slow demand

By: Reuters Debswana Diamond Company, a joint venture between Botswana and diamond giant De Beers, will trim output as it waits for demand for the precious stone to recover, an executive said on Thursday. The company, which produced a peak of 34-million carats of diamonds in 2007, will produce between... 

Quebec scales back plan to develop its resource-rich north

By: Reuters The Canadian province of Quebec unveiled a scaled-back version of its long-touted plan to develop its vast, mineral-rich north on Wednesday as investor interest has waned due to weak commodity prices, particularly for iron-ore. The provincial government said it now expects its Plan Nord to... 

MPD secures $370m to fund Gahcho Kué to commercial production

By: Henry Lazenby Junior project developer Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD) has closed a $370-million term loan facility that will enable it to build, commission and ramp-up its Gahcho Kué project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, to commercial production. The loan was provided by a syndicate of lenders led by... 

Stellar looking to further Tongo development

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Aim-listed Stellar Diamonds has started an application process for a mining licence at its 100%-owned, 1.45-million-carat Tongo Dyke-1 kimberlite project, in eastern Sierra Leone. The company would need to invest $20-million in capital expenditure (capex) to bring the mine into production and to... 

Mining BEE ownership to be tested in court – Minister 

By: Martin Creamer Government, organised mining and organised labour have agreed to work collaboratively to obtain a court ruling on the crucial issue of black economic-empowerment (BEE) ownership of mines, the only sticking point of Tuesday’s Mining Charter deadline. In an interim announcement on the outcome of... 

Mining BEE ownership to be tested in court – Minister
Photo by Duane Daws
Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi (centre), chamber's Mike Teke (left) and DMR DG Dr Thibedi Ramontja

De Beers starts three-year global sightholder sales contracts

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Diamond mining giant De Beers Group on Tuesday initiated the 2015 to 2018 global sightholder sales (GSS) contracts that required customers to provide group accounts in line with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) consolidation standards. The new contract period has been designed... 

Minerals Minister to announce mining charter audit outcomes

By: Martin Creamer South Africa’s Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi will on Tuesday brief the media on the outcomes of the audit to assess the extent to which mining companies have complied with the Mining Charter in the ten years to 2014. This follows the Minister making in clear last month that the... 

Minerals Minister to announce mining charter audit outcomes
Photo by Duane Daws
Ngoako Ramatlhodi

Rockwell sells noncore Tirisano mine for R60m

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Dual-listed Rockwell Diamonds has entered into an agreement to sell its noncore Tirisano project, in the North West, to a mining consortium for R60-million. The consortium, comprising royalty miners that have operated the mine for the last two years, would acquire the entire issued share capital,... 

Baoulé project a ‘company-maker’ for Stellar Diamonds

By: Natalie Greve The dense media separation (DMS) plant at Aim-listed Stellar Diamonds’ Baoulé kimberlite pipe project, in Guinea, has reached its target processing capacity of 50 t/h, the company said in an interim results statement for the six months ended December 31, on Friday. This comes after the diamond... 

Orapa diamond field to plug ‘clear’ supply gap, asserts explorer

By: Natalie Greve Diamond explorer Botswana Diamonds continued to advance second-phase exploration on three of its joint venture (JV) blocks in the Orapa area of Botswana, telling shareholders on Friday that the diamond industry continues to “glisten” in a resource sector depressed by weak demand. Chairperson John... 

Basil Read records R820m loss in challenging market

By: Megan van Wyngaardt A challenging construction sector, difficult contractual environment and poor operational performance have contributed to JSE-listed construction company Basil Read reporting an R820.9-million aftertax loss for the year ended December 31, 2014. “Lossmaking contracts across all construction... 

Basil Read records R820m loss in challenging market

Resources Watch

By: Creamer Media Reporter This week: De Beers says there are early signs of another good year for diamond jewellery in 2015. And, Horomela Investments hopes to get Northern Cape zinc, copper and lead prospecting rights by year-end. 

Resources Watch

Seize opportunity to improve mining tax, pleads KPMG’s Saloojee

By: Martin Creamer South Africa should seize the current timely opportunity to amend its mining taxation in a manner that encourages foreign investment, stimulates prospecting, gets mining companies to start dealing with marginal mines and gives enough back to the fiscus for the benefit of this country's people,... 

Seize opportunity to improve mining tax, pleads KPMG’s Saloojee
Muhammad Saloojee
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