HomeGoldFirst underwater drilling for gold in 2010

First underwater drilling for gold in 2010

A De Beers Marine fleet
mining vessel working
off the coasts of Namibia
and Namaqualand,
South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 November 2009 – A joint venture between the world’s leading diamond company “’ De Beers “’ and AngloGold Ashanti Limited “’ the world’s third-biggest producer of the precious metal “’ expects to start its first underwater drilling for gold in the second quarter of next year.

“At the moment we are focused on New Zealand as the first step of the new venture,” De Beers Marine general manager Burger Greeff told Reuters in an interview. “We are probably looking at towards the beginning of the second quarter of 2010 for first cores to be drilled.”

De Beers is 45% owned by global miner Anglo American Plc. De Beers Marine provides the technical support and exploration vessels for the world’s biggest diamond producer, which mines offshore in South Africa, but mainly in Namibia.

Announcing the marine exploration and mining joint venture last month, AngloGold said the firms would focus on marine deposits around the world for gold and other minerals, excluding diamonds, unless these occurred together with other minerals.

Greeff said they were targeting a 20 km region some 500 m offshore of New Zealand’s South Island, specifically looking for gold. Privately-owned Seafield Resources had rights to the offshore acreage, he added.

“The immediate targets after New Zealand would be South America, followed by Africa and then North America," he said. “Geologists from the joint venture have been prospecting all continents except Asia and Europe,” Greeff added.

“The initial drilling off New Zealand’s coast would see 80 cores drilled at a depth of up to 200 m as part of an initial exploration campaign outlay of US$4 million (R30 million),” Greeff said.