HomeDiamonds & GemstonesKolo diamond mine in full production

Kolo diamond mine in full production

Marius Welthagen,
Thabex Limited
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 10 June 2008 – Diamond mining junior Thabex Limited – listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange – says its Kolo diamond mining project in Lesotho has moved into full production, and the company expects a positive cash flow from this operation from this month.

Announcing the company’s results for the year to 29 February 2008, CEO Marius Welthagen revealed that a 20 tph dense medium separator and a 14-foot gravity rotary pan plant had been installed at the Lesotho mine.

Up to 30% of the diamonds recovered at the mine are of gem quality.

“We also expect news soon concerning the prospect drilling of seven geophysical targets undertaken by Namdeb Corporation (Pty) Ltd on our subsidiary Minnex’s properties in northern Namibia,” said Welthagen.

During the period under review the Minnex acquisition was completed, and Thabex now owns a 100% of the exploration company. The subsidiary’s projects consist of a 36% interest in the Nidoyona Kimberlite project in Namibia; a late-state secondary alluvial exploration project on the farm Middelwater near Prieska; and an early-stage, high-volume marine concession.

Welthagen explained that Thabex had tested 7000 tons of stockpiled alluvial gravels on the farm Middelwater and considered the size of the project too large for the group to test on a reasonable scale with an estimated capital requirement of R20 million. As a result, Minnex had entered into an agreement with Steyn Diamante cc, based in Douglas, to cede its option on this property and to receive a management fee on turnover of 2.5% once mining commences next year.

“The board is confident that the production of rough diamonds from the Kolo Kimberlite pipe, and the proposed disposal of the Middelwater alluvial diamond project, will generate sufficient cash flow to enable the group to realise its assets and settle its liabilities in the normal course of business,” Welthagen added.

The Group incurred a net loss of R7.1 million for the year ended 29 February 2008. The headline loss per share decreased from 38.84 cents to 36.86 cents. Throughout the course of the financial year the group generated R477 000 in revenue, which was not sufficient to fund its operations.

Investments to the tune of R5.166 million were made in increasing the group’s mining assets and equipment, as well as exploration and evaluation assets. The increase was mainly due to the investment in plant at Kolo in Lesotho.