March 11, 2002
Black-Owned Mining Company Buys Mine From De Beers
In a victory for South Africa's black-owned business empowerment movement, New Diamond Corp.purchased the dormant Kamfersdam mine and two tailings dumps near Kimberley from De Beers.
NDC plans drilling and bulk sampling programs at the mine, then feasibility studies. The mine is estimated to yield as much as 1.05 million inferred carats, based on sampling exercises. It's estimated the tailings dumps leftover dumps from earlier mining at the site will yield 0.63 million inferred carats.
The Kamfersdam pipe was discovered in 1880 and last mined in 1914. De Beers acquired the property in 1926. NDC's tailings retreatment operation is expected to start within seven months. The mine project will take longer to start up, with a target of full production at a treatment plant by March 2004.
"This transaction brings us closer to our goal of producing 1 million carats per annum by 2007," says Tiego Moseneke, NDC executive chairman. De Beers Managing Director Gary Ralfe says, "De Beers is proud of its association with NDC ... [we] have been partners in various mining operations, notably the Marsfontein project in the Limpopo Province ... I am confident that this venture will succeed, and that, with lean management and a guaranteed market for the production, Kamfersdam will contribute to the economy of Kimberley and the Northern Cape [of South Africa}."
KImberley is the site of the original diamond mines of South Africa, and De Beers was founded there in 1888. Today, much less mining takes place there and the local government will welcome the 340 new jobs the mining venture is expected to produce. Local suppliers of good and services also are expected to benefit.
by Peggy Jo Donahue