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06 july 2020

Botswana Diamonds swoops for Petra’s exploration assets

20 july 2020
Petra Diamonds has agreed to dispose of its exploration assets in Botswana through the sale of its wholly owned Sekaka Diamonds Exploration to Botswana Diamonds for $300000.
The transaction is not a result of the recent sales process announced on 26 June 2020 as the exploration assets had been classified as 'Assets held for sale' since 30 June 2018.
Petra will have a 5% royalty on future diamond revenues should any of the prospects within the exploration licences be brought into production. 
However, Botswana Diamonds has the option to buy-out the royalty for a cash payment of $2 million.  
Sekaka assets include three existing Prospecting Licenses in Botswana, which includes the KX36 project, a 3.5 hectare kimberlite that was a new discovery by Petra in 2010, as well as a bulk sampling plant. 
“This disposal forms part of our strategy to focus on driving efficiencies from our high quality producing mines, but allows us to maintain upside to potential future commercial production from the Botswana assets, particularly from the KX36 deposit,” said Petra chief executive Richard Duffy.
Botswana Diamonds chairperson John Teeling said in a statement to Rough & Polished that KX36 is a very significant diamond discovery and potentially offers upside potential - as do the two contiguous prospecting licences.
“You rarely, if ever, find a kimberlite pipe on its own and further exploration may find more kimberlite pipes. KX36, located deep in the Kalahari, presents challenges, but the greatest challenge of all is overcome – finding a significantly sized high-grade deposit,” he said.
“We have evaluated options on KX36 and believe we can add value to the discovery.”
The sale is subject to a number of regulatory approvals, including Ministerial consent in Botswana, approval from Petra’s lenders and noteholders and, to the extent required, approval from the Botswana Competition Commission.
The three assets have been classified as 'Assets held for sale' since 30 June 2018 following Petra board’s decision to dispose of its Botswana exploration assets.

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