Petra Looking to Sell One of Its Mines in South Africa
The diamond miner wants to find a “technically and financially suitable” buyer for Koffiefontein.
Petra said in conjunction with its Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partners, Kago Diamonds (Pty) Ltd. and the Itumeleng Petra Diamonds Employee Trust, it is exploring a “responsible” exit from the mine.
According to a history of the mine provided by Petra, diamonds were first discovered on the Koffiefontein farm in 1870, and De Beers acquired control of the site in 1911.
The open-pit mine went underground in 1974, and De Beers completed the sale of the mine to Petra in 2007.
The current life-of-mine plan calls for Koffiefontein to operate until FY 2025.
Petra, which just completed a restructuring after failing to find a buyer itself, would like to find a “technically and financially suitable buyer” that could extend the life of the mine, which includes 1.11 million carats in indicated resources.
If not, it will move forward with the current plan to close the mine by 2025. The company said it already has begun “right-sizing” the operation, a process likely to involve layoffs.
Petra has hired Questco Corporate Advisory to manage the potential sale of the mine.
All interested parties should contact Questco by May 9. The contacts are: Ciska Kloppers at +27 82 303 4826, Kaveshan Subramanian at +27 73 201 4359, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based in the U.K., Petra has interest in three underground mines in South Africa—Koffiefontein, Finsch, and Cullinan, all former De Beers mines—as well the open-pit Williamson mine in Tanzania.
Cullinan is known for producing large diamonds, including the largest known rough diamond recovered to date.
The mine also produced the 39.34-carat chunk of rough that became the “De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond,” a 15.10-carat fancy vivid blue that just sold for nearly $58 million at Sotheby’s.
Gemologists have long used machines in diamond grading but technology has made it possible for them to “learn” how to do it on their own.
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