London, England — 01 August 2012 – Leading independent diamond mining group Petra Diamonds Limited has announced that, in conjunction with its BEE partners, it has decided to undertake a sale process in respect of its fissure mine operations, comprising the Helam, Sedibeng and Star mines in South Africa.
In a statement released here, the company explained that its focus on the development of its major assets had led to the Group evolving into a successful producer from underground and surface high-tonnage kimberlite pipe mines.
“The fissure mines have therefore become non-core to the Group, both in terms of their revenues and resource base, and Petra is of the view that the fissure mines have the potential to deliver strong returns under the ownership of an operator to whom they would be core assets,” the statement added.
“Potential transactions arising from the sale process will be subject to detailed scrutiny and, apart from financial objectives, Petra will consider prospective purchasers’ approach to employment, health and safety, environmental management and other issues fundamental to the long term success of the fissure mines for all stakeholders,” it continued.
Petra Diamonds CEO, Johan Dippenaar said that the fissure mines produced high value stones and under the right ownership they had the potential to deliver strong returns for many years to come, while at the same time providing employment to the communities in the surrounding areas.
Helam, Sedibeng and Star are all well-established fissure mines which have been in operation for more than 50 years.
The average value per carat of the three fissure mines in FY2012 was high for kimberlite operations, ranging across each of the fissures from US$150 to US$500/ct, with an overall average of US$255/ct compared to a global average of US$90 per carat.
Source: Petra Diamonds. For more information, click here.