Anglo American diamond unit, De Beers diamond production slid 10 percent to 6.9 million carats in the first quarter as the miner reduced output in response to market conditions.â€¨According to Anglo production report for Q1, production from Debswana, a joint venture fell 5 percent to 5.3 million carats in the three months to March 31, De Beers said. Output from the Orapa project in the African country slumped 23 percent, outweighing a 15-percent increase in production at the Jwaneng mine.
“There was lower production at Orapa mine, partially offset by an increase in production at Jwaneng. Damtshaa mine was placed on care and maintenance,” said the mining group.â€¨â€¨Output from Namdeb and De Beers Consolidated Mines, the company’s joint ventures in Namibia and South Africa respectively, also declined. Gem recovery from De Beers Canada dived 68 percent as the Snap Lake mine was put on care and maintenance in December 2015. â€¨â€¨
De Beers also reported consolidated sales by volume dropped 10 percent to 7.6 million carats, reflecting one fewer sight in the quarter compared with a year ago. Sequentially, the quarterly sales rose from 3.6 million carats as trading conditions in the January-March period were better, according to the miner.
Anglo American Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said the Q1 2016 operating results are in line with the equivalent period of 2015 on copper equivalent basis and reflect the major restructuring programme underway.
“They also demonstrate the market discipline we continue to show in our key markets, particularly diamonds and platinum, and are consistent with our restructuring plans as we focus on lower cost and higher margin assets. We are encouraged that the actions we have taken in diamonds are continuing to have a positive effect, while operational productivity continues on an upward trajectory. As a consequence of our solid progress, our production guidance for 2016 remains unchanged,” he said
Meanwhile, De Beers is moving from its iconic premises at 17 Charterhouse Street as part of an ongoing consolidation at its parent Anglo American. â€¨â€¨Staff will relocate to Anglo American’s Carlton House Terrace office within the next year, said David Johnson, the head of midstream communications at De Beers. Anglo American announced in December it plans to co-locate with De Beers in 2017 and was considering Charterhouse as its new headquarters. Instead, Johnson confirmed, it has now been decided De Beers will move to Anglo American’s premises.â€¨â€¨
The decision comes amid a cost cutting Anglo American announced last year that will reduce its employee base from 135,000 to less than 50,000 worldwide. The group is consolidating its portfolio of businesses from six to three, comprising the De Beers diamond unit, industrial metals and bulk commodities.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.