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SA advised to sell off Alexkor’s deeper offshore diamond concessions

18 june 2020
Image credit: Alexkor

The South African government has been advised to sell two deeper offshore diamond resources  owned by the struggling state-owned diamond company, Alexkor.
Sable Metals & Minerals chief executive James Allan said in an opinion piece published by Mining Weekly that R500 million is needed for the systematic and detailed evaluation of the B and C Concessions, money that the South African government does not have.
“These deep water concessions should be sold off to capable and well-resourced private enterprise as a priority, so as to prevent a repeat of Alexkor’s recent history,” he opined.
"Mineral resources are finite, and after some 90 years of exploitation, which included high-grading, and mining without concomitant robust exploration and a mine plan due to lack of financial resources and technical capacity, Alexkor obviously faces declining production and an uncertain future.”
He said that the mineral resources minister should consult with industry experts before making any decisions on the future of Alexkor.
“It would also be appropriate to form a panel of experts, all of whom already exist, to properly oversee the future of Alexkor, and to unlock the greater long term potential of Northern Namaqualand,” writes Allan. 
Alexkor owns struggling operations in the northern Namaqualand region.
The miner’s administrator Lloyd McPatie recently told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that Alexkor was set to run out of cash this month, following a loss of R63.5-million ($3.6 million) in 2019.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished