De Beers is selling its legendary Kimberley Mine, a South-African pit that acted as part of the foundation for the company’s empire.
Nicknamed the “Big Hole”, Kimberley was considered the world’s richest diamond deposit for nearly a century. Although De Beers no longer mines there, recovery from the mine’s tailings yield around 700 000 carats a year, making it the company’s second largest producer in South Africa.
According to De Beers, the current mine life is set to end in 2018, but it could possibly be extended to 2030. Phillip Barton, chief executive of De Beers Consolidated Mines, suggests that with an “appropriate operator,” this asset has the potential to last “into the next decade.”
The sale of the mine will end more than 125 years of diamond mining history, with De Beers’ roots in the area tracing back to 1871. The company hopes to conclude the sale within a matter of months. CJ
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