SOUTH AFRICA - South Africa's DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS & ENERGY (DME) and the DE BEERS GROUP have agreed to create a new, stand-alone diamond mining and exploration company. The Alexkor and Namaqualand mines will be amalgamated, and De Beers will issue a 20% stake in its Namaqualand mines to the DME.
It is expected that consolidation will be concluded in 2008 and thereafter the option of a listing may be fully examined by the operator of this new company. It is not De Beers' intention to be the operator of this company, and De Beers will dilute its stake over time.
De Beers remains focused on implementing its R2.2-billion (Cdn$162.1-million) capital investment program to build new mines in South Africa. SASA (South African Sea Areas) project and the Voorspoed mine in the Free State are expected to be operational in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Other capital investments in growth projects include significant investment in its world class assetsthe Finsch and Venetia minesas well as funding of new exploration activities to find the diamond mines of the future in South Africa.
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