Namakwa Expects Mine Life of Over 40 Years from Kao Kimberlite Mining Lease in Lesotho Namakwa Diamonds Limited says that the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho has transferred the mining lease to the Kao Kimberlite Pipe to Namakwa Batla Diamonds Pty Ltd (NBDL), the company’s joint venture with Batla Minerals SA, the Government and Lesotho investors. The Government has also entered into a mining agreement with NBDL. African Alliance Lesotho (Pty) Limited provided corporate finance advice to NBDL. Pursuant to the transaction, NBDL has agreed to settle the claims of certain Lesotho creditors of the previous incumbent of the Kao mining lease up to a maximum aggregate amount of ZAR 50.6m (US$6.6m). These claims remain subject to verification by the appointed liquidators and potential reduction. Kao’s main kimberlite pipe is the largest in Lesotho and the fourth largest in Southern Africa at 19.8 hectares. It is situated at an altitude of 2,500m approximately 200km north of Maseru. It lies within a 20km radius of the diamond producing Letseng and Liqhobong mines. Resources for the Kao Pipe total 173 million tons (27Mt measured, 63Mt indicated and 83Mt inferred) containing an estimated 12.4 million carats. The transaction provides two distinct advantages:
- A recognized kimberlite asset in Lesotho - an established centre for kimberlite mining with proven infrastructure and logistical capabilities; and
- The JV with Batla and the Lesotho investors provides local experience and knowledge. Batla’s wholly owned subsidiary, Alluvial Ventures is the contracted operator for the weathered kimberlite deposits at the nearby producing Letseng mine.