DiamonEx Limited, the just resuscitated diamond miner, said this week that it is eyeing for some assets in Botswana in a bid to bounce back to the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and in turn create value for its shareholders.
The company that used to hoist Lerala mine as its main asset is now looking outside diamonds with special preference to coal.
“We are looking for resource projects even outside diamonds,” Wayne Osterberg of Fleming Asset Management and board member of DiamonEx ,said, adding that “our preferences are for coal.”
DiamondEx has about 400 shareholders and the bulk of them are Batswana controlling 67 percent of the company following the restructuring of the company and the sale of Lerala mine to Mantle Diamonds ÔÇô a UK-based diamond outfit.
The re-baptised, DiamonEX is cash rich with no liabilities nor assets and is now actively talking to a number of companies with a view of forming a joint-venture.
“We have talked to a number of people and we are still looking,” he added.
The company’s appetite to coal is boosted by a number of factors that include the power hungry Indo-China and the proposed railway line linking Botswana and NamibiaÔÇöaimed at reducing the pressure from the South African ports.
The move comes at a time when there is a lot of interest in the Botswana coal resources that is estimated at n over 2 billion tonesÔÇöenough to last this country over 15, 000 years if mined at the current rate.
Further, the Japanese nuclear crisis has also pushed up the demand for coal cross the world.
DiamonEX is one of the resource companies that flogged to Botswana in the last decadeÔÇöa country labeled by African Diamond chief, John Teeling, as the best address for diamond in the world.
It then acquired former De Beers mining ground near Lerala VillageÔÇösome 120 kilometers from Palapye.
At full production, the Lerala mine was expected to produce 330,000 carats per annum over its life span of 10 years. Its DiamonEx had several exploration licences in Tuli-block and some for areas around JwanengÔÇöwhich they have not yet acted upon . All the licenses have since been transferred to Mantle Diamonds following its acquisition of Botswana assets.
The pipes that were earmarked for mining were K2, K3 ÔÇô which is the biggest ÔÇô K4, K5 and K6.