The De Beers’ Venetia
open pit, which measures
2.1 km in length
Cape Town, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 06 February, 2008 – De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) – the South African arm of diamond giant the De Beers Group, which is the largest diamond mining company in the world – has laid a solid foundation for future growth, both in the company and in the countries where it operates.

Outlining this success in an address to the Mining Indaba here, De Beers group managing director Gareth Penny emphasised that the company had remained focussed on core assets, and – most importantly – had successfully cemented and established a large number of partnerships in the key diamond producing countries. “These partnerships exist in both exploration and mining, and more recently in sorting and marketing to support local diamond beneficiation,” he added.

“Africa remains the source of the majority of the world’s diamonds,” Penny pointed out, confirming that De Beers continues to spend US$100 million (R750 million) a year on exploration activities in the regions where the company expects to make the most impact. “We have invested more than this in the past few years to establish a greater presence and activity rate in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),” he revealed.

De Beers currently has partnerships in 59 joint ventures with 42 companies worldwide. Penny commented: “The successes we have achieved in using both in-house and available technology resulted in the discovery of another 45 new kimberlites in 2007,” he said. “These new discoveries form a part of the portfolio of properties De Beers has at varying levels of evaluation.”

In South Africa, DBCM has succeeded in obtaining its licence conversion to new order mining right for the Voorspoed Mine in the Free State, which is currently under construction, and for Cullinan Diamond Mine in Gauteng. Penny announced today that the company had been notified this week that a new order mining right licence had also been agreed for the country’s largest mine, Venetia, in Limpopo Province. “We have also received licenses for other exploration and reconnaissance work in South Africa,” he added.