SEA DIAMONDS: Afri-Can Makes Good Progress
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AFRI-CAN Marine Minerals Corporation, the marine diamond mining company in which retail tycoon Christo Wiese reportedly holds a sizeable stake, has just finished what appears to be a very promising first stage sampling programme.
With the marine diamond industry being one of the popular destinations for adventurous investors, there are more than a few local investors taking an interest in the progress of Afri-Can (which intends to list on the JSE later this year).
A press release issued last month confirmed Afri-Can’s exploration work on the Exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL) 3403 marine diamond concession in Namibia had discovered three depositional features in the southern region and recovered 84 diamonds.
The four largest diamonds weighed 1.60, 1.30, 1.15 and 1.15 carats and 15 diamonds (18% of the total) each weighed over 0.5 carats.
Most encouraging, according to Afri-Can, is that the average size of the diamonds is similar to those found on concessions nearby (ie the Namdeb’s rich Atlantic One concession).
Pierre Léveillé, the president and CEO of Afri-Can, says the results of the first sampling phase exceeded the company’s expectations.
“Our diamonds’ size is in line with attractive regional average diamond sizes and we have found at least three deposits.”
Léveillé adds that the diamond market is very robust and has seen an increase of 30% in rough diamond prices in 2010.
He points out that Namdeb increased production by 58% to almost 1.5 million carats last year at a selling price over US$500 per carat.
“We expect the diamond market will remain robust for many years as demand surpasses supply and new diamond mining projects are few. We feel that we are sitting on a strong project in a very solid industry.”
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