Botswana: Lerala Diamond Mine shut down, again, and put up for sale via an online auction

Lerala Diamond Mine, located in Botswana and owned and liquidated by Australia’s Kimberley Diamond, will be put up for sale via an online auction after Kimberley failed to secure a viable offer for it. This comes about two years after Kimberley Diamonds announced the first sale of diamonds recovered from the mine.

According to a statement published in the weekly Monitor newspaper by the auctioneers, GoIndustry DoveBid, the online bids for the Diamond mine will open on May 24th at 5:00 pm and run through May 30th at 2:00 pm.

A year after the mine announced its first sale, Kimberley was placed under judicial management due to weak sales and high operating costs and the mine was shut down without paying workers. The closure of Lerala mine was the third time that the mine has been shut down in its history after closing shop in February 2009 and July 2012.

Bloomberg reported that in the year leading up to its closure, Lerala produced about 59,000 carats compared with a published target of 357,000 carats a year, over a seven-year lifespan. On offer are five kimberlite pipes ranging from 0.16 hectare to 2.35 hectares in area, mining rights, a 200 metric tons per hour processing plant, a 4.2-megawatt diesel generator and other assets. Bidders are required to place a refundable deposit of 5 million pula ($509,000).

The mine has probable reserves of 5 million tons at a grade of 31 carats per 100 tons and inferred resources of 10.3 million tons at 31 carats per 100 tons.

If the mine is in full production, the mine would treat 1.4-million tonnes of ore a year, producing an average of 357 000 carats per year.