RAPAPORT... Rockwell Diamonds Inc. updated its preliminary economic assessment on its Wouterspan alluvial diamond property, which is located on the opposite side of the Orange River from its Saxendrift diamond mine in South Africa. The assessment resulted in positive enough economics to take the project through a detailed design stage.
The economic model yielded an internal rate of return of between 45 percent and 70 percent. The net present value for the base case was $91.71 million at a 15 percent discount rate, yielding a project payback period of 2.3 years from the start of construction or approximately 1.3 years from commencement of diamond production, according to Rockwell. The project is most sensitive to revenue with a 5 percent variance in the total revenue over a 10 year life of mine, impacting the net value by 15 percent. The operation is expected to employ 300 people.
''Completion of this study on Wouterspan is a critical milestone in Rockwell's strategy to unlock the growth potential of its Middle Orange River projects. The property was successfully mined in the past using pan plants. We now have access to more efficient fit for purpose technologies such as the bulk X-ray system that we have incorporated into the new plant design,'' said James Campbell, the CEO of Rockwell Diamonds.
''The study's results are based on what we are achieving in other areas of our operations. The project capital is expected to be some $42 million, including a 25 percent contingency, with the potential to come in substantially lower. The team that conducted the Wouterspan study was instrumental in more than halving the eventual capital budget required to recently bringing on stream a new kimberlite mine in Botswana, compared to initial estimates.''