Phembani Group is one of the key BEE partners of Diamond Corp PLC who owns and operates the Lace Diamond Mine in South Africa. Phembani Group owns 13% of Lace Diamond Mine.
Diamond Corp PLC is an emerging diamond producer focused on maximising shareholder value through the development of high-margin diamond production assets. The company is incorporated in the UK, and operates in the long established diamondiferous regions of southern Africa. The DiamondCorp Group’s primary asset in South Africa is the Lace Diamond Mine, an historic operation located some 200 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, near the town of Kroonstad in Free State Province. DiamondCorp was awarded a mining right to the Lace property in February 2009. Lace was first mined between 1901 and 1931, with some 4.5 million tonnes of rock having been extracted down to a level of about 240 metres below surface. Approximately 750,000 carats of diamonds were recovered from Lace during this period, at an average grade of 16 carats per hundred tonnes.
Two main types of kimberlite exist at Lace – an upper level Volcanoclastic Kimberlite (VK at an average grade of 24 carats per hundred tonnes) and the deeper Coherent Kimberlite Facies (CK at an average grade of around 55 carats per hundred tonnes). The Coherent Kimberlite Facies becomes volumetrically dominant at depth which confirms the old records that show higher grades in the deeper workings. Along with white diamonds of above average quality, historically Lace was known for its fancy pinks and purples, which had become a signature gem from this mine. While historically the bulk of Lace′s value curve has been in the 1 carat to 4 carat range, the pipe has produced a number of large stones, up to 122 carats. More than 80% of the diamonds are of gem quality.
The mine boasts a resource of 13 million carats at +$150/carat at 40 carats per hundred tonnes equating to circa $2 billion in-ground value at +50% operating margin. The expected life of the underground mine is 25 years producing up to 540,000 carats per annum. Commercial production ramp-up on track for H2 2016.
Phembani’s Don Turvey (Executive Head: New Mining) and Zola Tsotsotso were appointed to the Lace Diamond Mine Board.