Gem Diamonds, the London Stock Exchange listed outfit, re-affirmed to the markets that its full year earnings will be outlined on Tuesday where top among the issues will be mining plans for the Gope deposits in the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve.
The move comes on the heels of a statement issued in mid-January as a squeal the awarding of a 25-year mining license for the Gope deposit by Botswana government. The life-span of the mine is presently estimated at over 30 years.
“After the initial period of mining, the production capacity will be scaled up to higher steady state. The life of the mine at Gope is currently estimated to be in excess of 30 years. Details of the mine plan and the relevant staged capital expenditure will be released at the time of the announcement of company’s 2010 results on March 2011,” Gem Diamonds said.
Gem Diamonds’ local subsidiary’s Managing Director, Haile Mpusu will be in London for Tuesday landmark announcement regarding the planned mining within the CKGRÔÇö the second largest reserve in the world ,and larger than DenmarkÔÇöan area that was declared a game reserve by the British in the 1961.
Gem Diamonds acquired the Gope deposits from De Beers in May 2007 and started operation on one of the most challenging environment in the country. The proposed mine is within a game reserve and does not have access to power, reliable water supply nor access to roads.
However, the company has indicated that it uses power generators to power its machines in the initial stages of the mining process.
It is expected that the company will use its international experience that it gained from its other operations ÔÇô including operating in environmentally sensitive area.
The Gope mine operation is expected to be unique in the sense that people will have to spend about two weeks in the mine camp and the rest with their families outside the reserve.
The model is borrowed from two countries, Australia and Lesotho, where it has been in operation for some years.
Gope mine is scheduled to produce about 1 million carats per annum with a life-span of 30 years, which will bolster Botswana’s position as the premier diamond producer in the world.
However, the mine licence is for 25 years which is an improvement from the last figure of 17 years before the mine was put on care and maintenance in June 2009.
The extension of the life-span is due to the new modeling that was initiated by the company to take full advantage of the deposit.
Gem Diamonds stated last June at the Capital Resources conference that the new prices for Gope are expected to go up as per the pricing model of WWW Diamonds.
As part of its expansion plan Gem Diamonds has interest in three projects in the DRC which are under exploration. The projects are in Mbelenge, Lubembe and Longatshimo and if they prove profitable they will boost its other plans of extending its operations beyond mining.
It is currently planning to start the jewellery manufacturing in DubaiÔÇö an international diamond centre — in a bid to get into the downstream activities.
Further, Gem Diamonds has put together 80 clients across the globe who are fighting for its gemstones at every auctionÔÇöa parallel system from that of De Beers.