RAPAPORT... Paragon Diamonds Ltd. conditionally acquired full interest in its subsidiary Meso Diamonds from a local partner in Lesotho, Martin Matekane of Matekane Mining. Paragon Diamonds intends to acquire the interest by issuing almost 35.5 million new shares to Matekane once the deal is approved by regulators.
Lesotho is entitled to 20 percent interest in Meso Diamonds, which Paragon expects to grant shortly. Lesotho issued a mining lease to Meso Diamonds in September for the the Lemphane kimberlite project. Paragon Diamonds has also agreed with the government to sell up to 15 percent from its 80 percent interest in Meso Diamonds to accredited Basotho investors at fair commercial value should an interested party emerge.
"We welcome the Matekane family, who have partnered with us for the last three years, as shareholders of Paragon Diamonds. We now move to the critical stage 1 mining development phase. It should be noted that Paragon Diamonds will now hold 80 percent of the equity in the project, together with the government of Lesotho holding 20 percent, terms not matched by any other comparable mining operation in the country at this time," said Paragon's managing director, Stephen Grimmer.