BRC DiamondCore eyes two targets

Allan Seccombe
Posted: Wed, 05 Dec 2007

[] -- THE new diamond company BRC DiamondCore will look at two potential acquisitions in 2008 as it decides which of its alluvial and kimberlite projects to bring into production, chairman Simon Village said on Wednesday.

At the moment, the two companies are still separate as BRC Diamond Corp. and JSE-listed Diamond Core, not to be confused with DiamondCorp, which has the Lace diamond project in South Africa’s Free State province.

The merger will be completed early next year and the listing will follow shortly. A listing date is expected soon from the TSX.

The two companies unveiled the takeover by BRC of Diamond Core in a 1:24.5 share transaction. The company will have a primary listing on the Toronto bourse’s main board and a secondary listing on the JSE. There will be 25.7 million shares in issue and it will have an implied market capitalisation of C$180m.

The listing will cross list onto the American exchange, giving it a broader range of investors when raising capital.

“There are two things we are looking at and we’ll take those forward next year (2008),” Village told a media briefing. “It’s going to be an exciting year.”

Theo Botoulas, CEO of Diamond Core and of the merged entity, said he and highly experienced geologist and president of the combined companies Mike de Wit, had identified opportunities in South Africa.

BRC DiamondCore will have a strategy meeting ahead of the Mining Indaba in Cape Town in February to decide which of its projects are in a position to be brought into production, Botoulas said.

The project which appears most likely to come into production first is the Silverstreams alluvial project in South Africa, where another R11m would need to be spent to double production from the current bulk sampling rate of a couple of thousands tonnes per day.

There is an estimated 35 million tonnes of diamondiferous alluvial gravels at Silverstreams and Diamond Core, the current owner of the deposit, has bulk sampled about 500,000 tonnes, extracting around 1,000 carats of diamonds.

“In the first quarter of 2008 we will take a look and see if we’ve done enough sampling,” Botoulas said. The project will only hit its full stride in December once it is connected to the power grid. Up to now power has been generated on site.

The other two key projects are the Paardeberg kimberlite project in South Africa, where three pipes are being sampled and 240,000 tonnes of tailings are being processed. "A couple thousand carats" have come from Paardeberg, but Diamond Core is not selling diamonds from either of its projects because it wants them on hand for a properly audited projects.

The Kwango River alluvial diamond project in the BRC's Congo stable will receive a lot more attention once the merger is completed. BRC DiamondCore will prioritise terraces and geology to finalise a work programme.

At Tshikapa in the DRC there are more than 22 kimberlite targets to be drilled.

"If an asset or orebody does not meet our expectations then we will move on to the next one," Botoulas said.

No comments: