Rockwell Diamonds Agrees to $28.5 Million Deal to Expand Operations in South Africa
Mining company Rockwell Diamonds has agreed to acquire certain alluvial diamond properties and associated plant and equipment from Bondeo 140 CC for $28.5 million, assisting Rockwell in expanding its operations in South Africa.
"We are delighted to have concluded this agreement as it represents an exciting growth platform for Rockwell,” said CEO and President of Rockwell, James Campbell.
“Our executive and operational management have demonstrated their alluvial diamond production expertise during Rockwell's corporate turnaround and have the capacity to take on these additional assets.”
The massive deal is comprised of $12 million for the mineral rights and three processing plants, with the remaining $16.5 million allocated to earth-moving equipment fleet and other associated equipment.
"We have a long-standing working relationship with the sellers of the assets which we are acquiring, who initially brought this opportunity to the table and we have agreed to work together in order to find additional opportunities that might benefit both parties," Campbell said on Tuesday.
“We have reviewed a number of consolidation opportunities and the transaction met all our strategic criteria. Its assets are contiguous to our existing MOR operations, which are known for their gem quality diamonds.”
According to Campbell, the deal will help Rockwell significantly increase its operating and resource base and leverage its growth in the Middle Orange River region in South Africa.
“We know the geology of the area. So these new assets offer economies of scale, with the potential to reduce the volatility of our quarterly production results and take us above our target of processing 500,000m3 per month.”
The deal will give Rockwell the opportunity to allocate its financial, human and intellectual capital more efficiently across a broader resource base.
The transaction is subject to customary and regulatory approvals conditions as well as Rockwell raising $12 million on or before March 31 2015. The company expects the deal to close in the second quarter of 2015.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.