Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  21 Sep 2010

VENTURES: New Sea Miner To Make Waves


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE dramatic demise of Namco and Trans Hex Group’s retreat from the ocean has left the marine diamond mining sector along the Namaqualand and Namibian coast a rather dull place of late.

The antics of wannabe gem hunter Wealth 4 U – recently placed into provisional liquidation – has also besmirched the image of the marine diamond mining sector.

But local investors with a penchant for mining (ad)ventures on high seas will be glad to know the JSE could soon see a new marine diamond mining listing in the form of Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corporation (Afri-Can).

The company, which is already listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is reportedly keen to secure a secondary listing on the JSE. The listing could be linked to a fund-raising exercise as Afri-Can looks ready to start mining an area known as Block J off the Namibian coast. Apparently around 40% of Afri-Can’s stock is already held by South Africans.

Reports suggest Block J could be a potentially rich area. Specialist mining website MiningMx recently reported that Afri-Can’s sampling in Block J had yielded 398 stones.

According to a fact sheet on Afri-Can, the company has invested over $6 million (R50 million) in surveying and sampling Block J since 2000.

The company says it has proved the presence of four sizeable deposits that contain diamonds of the same quality as its neighbouring competitors’ deposits and close to major deposits producing in excess of 1.2 million carats a year.

In terms of moving towards full-scale mining Afri-Can has contracted out International Mining and Dredging Holdings (IMDH) to carry out a large bulk sampling over Block J.

IMDH’s vessel - The Explorer – will be chartered to carry out a sampling program to extract 320 large samples. The vessel is equipped a 5 sq m drill and a 20 tons/hour mining plant.

Afri-Can says the sampling and mining technology is an update of the technology presently used by DeBeers Marine.

Let’s hope things go swimmingly…

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