De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), the diamond miner, has signed an agreement to sell Kimberley Mines in South Africa to Ekapa Minerals.
The deal is valued at R102 million (US$7,2 million). Ekapa Minerals is an investor consortium comprising Ekapa Mining (50,1 percent stake) and Petra Diamond (49,9 percent).
The sale process followed a competitive process that attracted more than 70 expressions of interest. The decision to sell to Ekapa Minerals was predicated on the basis that it is an experienced local Tailings Mineral Resources (TMR) operator with sound technical, financial and economic capability, as well as strong corporate social responsibility credentials, including a real and ongoing commitment to the Kimberley region.
The sale combines experienced operators and enables them to leverage their joint resources, expertise and capabilities to create a compelling future for Kimberley’s tailing resources.
Barend Petersen, Chairman of DBCM, said throughout this process, their objective had been to sustain operations, protect jobs and grow empowered participation in South Africa’s diamond industry.
“A rigorous, independently-advised process enabled De Beers to select a consortium with not only the right mining and financial credentials, but also a commitment to meet future social and labour plans, and environmental obligations,” Petersen said.
“We are delighted that the new owning consortium is broad-based HDSA (Historically Disadvantaged South Africans) controlled – illustrating that transformation in the South African diamond industry is steadily making progress,” said the official.
De Beers will retain a presence in Kimberley through various other businesses, including De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa, the Ecology Division, the Microdiamond Laboratory, the Big Hole, the Technical Training Centre, the Pension Fund and Benefit Society functions.
The transaction with Ekapa Minerals is subject to customary conditions. Johan Dippenaar and Jahn Hohne, the Petra and Ekapa CEOs respectively, expressed delight at the transaction.
The Kimberley Mines have resources of 2,8 million carats (mcts) as well as further potential for the treatment of other TMR deposits containing an estimated 4,4 mcts.
Author: Gift Ndolwane