Members of The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will march on 14 January in protest of De Beers Consolidated Mine’s (DBCM) sale of its Kimberley Mines.

The NUM is opposed to the sale, indicating it was not consulted in the sales process and is demanding the sale be suspended so talks can begin with the unions to work out a solution more acceptable to workers.

Following the march is will hand over a memorandum to DBCM and the Department of Minerals on 14 January.

In December 2015 DBCM announced it would sell its Kimberley Mines in South Africa to a consortium comprising Ekapa Mining and Petra Diamonds for R120 million in total.

The Kimberley Mines acquisition comprises a number of tailings dumps in Kimberley (tailings mineral resources or TMR), associated plant (combined treatment plant or CTP), employees and all other assets and liabilities.

Ekapa Minerals revealed in December it expects to produce circa 700 000 ctpa in the first three years of operation, with revenue of R920 million per annum, based on an assumed diamond price of US$95/ carat.

The NUM has also not taken into account that the deal will likely extend the lifespan of the Kimberley Mines TMRs, as well as Petra’s existing underground assets in Kimberley, thereby contributing to the future sustainability of the Group’s operations and employee base in Kimberley.

“The most compelling aspect of this transaction is the extension of the mining and processing of Kimberley’s TMRs far into the future.  Ekapa Minerals will be operated and managed in Kimberley by the people of Kimberley and to the benefit of the area,” John Hohne, CEO of Ekapa Mining said in the acquisition announcement.

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