GEM DIAMOND MINING COMPANY OF AFRICA LTD WINS BID FOR 76% OF LETŠENG DIAMONDSBack
27 Jun 2006
Gem Diamond Mining Company of Africa Ltd (Gem Diamonds) and the shareholders of Letseng Investment Holdings (South Africa) Pty Ltd have reached agreement on the purchase of their entire shareholding of 76% in Letšeng Diamonds (Pty) Ltd, which operates the Letšeng Diamond Mine in Lesotho. The company notes that the transaction still requires formal sign off from the Lesotho Government, and is pleased to note the approval of the transaction by the boards of JCI Limited and Matodzi Resources Ltd. This was announced today by Gem Diamonds' CEO, Clifford Elphick. The remaining 24% equity is owned by the Lesotho Government.
Says Elphick: "We are looking forward to working together with the Lesotho Government and the management team of Letšeng. We are also extremely confident about the capabilities and capacity of Gem Diamonds' highly experienced mining and exploration team whose expertise I believe to be amongst the best in the diamond mining industry. There is a gap in the market for gem quality diamonds and Letšeng provides Gem Diamonds with immediate production of some of the world's highest quality rough. In addition, it is felt that major opportunities exist for the expansion of production at Letšeng in the future, which would result in both temporary and permanent job creation in Lesotho, as well as increase government revenue through royalties and other taxes."
The mine has an experienced management team comprising CEO, Keith Whitelock; General Manager, Moruti Mphatsoe; Financial Manager, Jon Tully; Production Manager, John Houghton and Consulting Mining Engineer, Neil Kaner.
Letšeng is a world renowned mine, famous for the quality and size of its diamonds. The largest diamond discovered at the mine is the 601 carat Lesotho Brown and the average stone size and revenue per carat is unsurpassed in the diamond industry. Another top quality rough diamond produced by the mine was the 123 carat Star of Lesotho which was recovered in October 2004.
For further information:
Sherryn Tedder, Investor Relations
Tel: +27 11 447 7893
Fax: +27 11 447 5413
Mob: +27 82 578 7001
Biographies and photographs are available on request.