London, England — MININGREVEIW.COM — 26 August 2010 – Gem Diamonds Limited “’ an international diamond company with assets in eight countries “’ says that the De Beers-owned Namaqualand and Finsch diamond mines in South Africa are among its acquisition targets as it seeks to spur growth.
“We’ve been invited into the De Beers process for Namaqualand and Finsch,” CEO Clifford Elphick said in a phone interview. “They would interest us and we are involved in the process.”
De Beers, which produces about 40% of the world’s diamonds, said last month that it was evaluating offers for Finsch and Namaqualand, which produced 2.3 million carats and 310 000 carats respectively in 2008, a year before the credit crisis. The mines are also of interest to Petra Diamonds plc, CEO Johan Dippenaar said last month..
“Gem Diamonds, which has US$108.3 million (R812 million) in cash, is looking at other targets to add output to its existing operations at Letseng in Lesotho and Ellendale in Australia,” Elphick said. “The company is looking for proven kimberlites, or diamond-containing rock formations, in countries such as Botswana,” he added.
“The De Beers assets are one of many things we’re looking at,” Elphick continued. “We’ve got three possibilities that we’re reviewing quite closely and we’re in discussions.”
Operations in South Africa run by De Beers, which is 45%-owned by Anglo American Plc, include Finsch, Kimberley, Namaqualand, Venetia, Voorspoed and South African Sea Areas.