Today's Labour News

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DeBeersBusinessLive reports that De Beers is closing its Voorspoed mine after failing to find a suitable buyer for the 700,000-carats-a-year operation, but the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has stepped in to try and find a buyer before the end of August.  

In an effort to sell the open pit mine near Kroonstad in the Free State, letters were sent to more than 50 parties, including the operators of other diamond mines in SA.  "Not one of the four final companies we were speaking to managed to meet all the criteria we set, so we’ve taken the decision to close Voorspoed," said Philip Barton, CEO of De Beers Consolidated Mines, the SA subsidiary of De Beers.  The mine has 386 employees and 500 contractors.  Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has spoken out strongly against mine closures and operations put into care and maintenance.  Against this backdrop, discussions with the department’s Director-General, Thabo Mokoena, resulted in an agreement that the regulator would run a process to "identify and propose" an operator before the end of August.  Barton was clear that any buyer proposed by the DMR would have to meet the criteria laid down by De Beers.

  • Read this report by Allan Seccombe in full at BusinessLive

Read De Beers’ press statement at De Beers Group News

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page