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SA’s West End Diamond Mine goes under the hammer

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The West End Diamond Mine, an underground diamond mine, in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, is set to go under the hammer early next month.
The mine, which is currently owned by Rex Exploration, a consortium of owners who are calling it a day, according to Aucor Auction.
The mine, a traditional diamondiferous kimberlite pipe, has enough reserves to last at least another 20 years.

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  West End Diamond Mine                                                                                   Image credit: Aucor Bloemfontein
 
The rich diamond reserves were discovered in 1919.
Rex Exploration chief executive Christo Snyman said the mine was profitable since they took over the mine in 2003.
“All the requirements are in place, the mining right was issued on 13 December 2005 for a period of 22 years and is valid until December 13, 2027,” he said.
Snyman said they are currently working a single shift.
“I would say by working double shifts, 8000 tonnes of kimberlite can easily be mined and treated per month,” he said.
The company sunk a sub-vertical shaft to a depth of 220 m and unlocked reserves of 500 000 tonnes of kimberlite.
“In the 1960s, the De Beers Consolidated Mines drilled the pipe up to a depth of 1000ft,” said Syman.
“Proven reserves is thus 2.2 million tonnes.”
The grade, he said, is 15 carats per 100 tonnes, while the value of the diamonds was between $180 and $200 per carat.
West End is dominated by white to commercial white coloured diamonds and has a very low population of yellow and top light brown diamonds.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished from Cape Town, South Africa