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Australia Sells Ellendale Mining Rights

Dec 22, 2019 8:16 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Gibb River Diamonds has signed a lease with the Western Australia government to operate the Ellendale deposit, famous for its high-value yellow diamonds.

The deal follows recent geological exploration work carried out by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) that confirmed there are still diamond prospects at the site. Gibb will need to carry out further exploration work, speak with key stakeholders in the region and develop a mining plan for approval by the state government before mining can commence, the government explained.

“It’s not going to happen overnight but restarting mining operations at the former Ellendale mine will be a high point in the rejuvenation of diamond exploration and mining in the Kimberley [region of Western Australia],” Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston noted.

Under the lease agreement, Gibb will take on Ellendale’s E4 and E9 pits. The company will also have access to storage facilities and infrastructure that belonged to previous Ellendale owner Kimberley Diamond Company before it went into administration in 2015. The government also invited India Bore Diamond Holdings to apply for separate leases in sections of the Ellendale property.

During its peak production period, Ellendale produced around half of the world’s supply of rare yellow diamonds, and was also the main supplier of fancy-yellow diamonds for luxury-jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co.

Correction, December 24, 2019: Under the lease agreement, Gibb River Diamonds exclusively owns the mineral rights to mine the E4 and E9 pits at Ellendale. India Bore Diamond Holdings has no connection to this lease as initially reported by Rapaport News.

Image: The Ellendale mine. (The Government of Western Australia, DMIRS)
Tags: Bill Johnston, Blina diamond project, Department of Mines, DMIRS, Ellendale, Gibb River Diamonds, India Bore Diamond Holdings, Industry Regulation and Safety, Kimberley Diamond Company, Peter McNally, Rapaport News
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