Sourcing

Australia’s Ellendale Mine Sold to Burgundy Diamond

SourcingMar 25, 2021

Australia’s Ellendale Mine Sold to Burgundy Diamond

Famous for its yellow diamonds, the mine has changed hands once again.

An overhead shot of the Blina alluvial diamond project within the Ellendale Mine. The project is included as part of the deal to sell the mine to Burgundy Diamond.
West Perth, Australia—Gibb River Diamonds has sold its Ellendale mine in Australia to Burgundy Diamond Mines, shifting its attention to its gold prospects.

The Western Australia-based company has agreed to a deal of $5.1 million in cash and 16 million company shares.

Burgundy Diamond Mines will also pay a 1.5 percent gross revenue royalty on any diamonds found at the site.

The soon-to-be new owner noted it looks forward “to operating in close concert with the local traditional owners, respecting the heritage and fragile environment of this important region of the country.”

Fellow Australian miner Rio Tinto was in the hot seat last year after the destruction of a sacred indigenous site, leading its CEO to step down. It was later called out by Australian Aboriginal groups for its lack of communication as it tried to mend ties.

Burgundy Managing Director and CEO Peter Ravenscroft said this acquisition “ticks many of our strategic boxes.”

“It is in one of our focus jurisdictions of low-risk diamond countries, it provides us potential for early cash-flow to underpin our expansive growth strategy, and it focuses on the production of high-value colored stones in the same way as our Naujaat diamond project in Canada.”

The Ellendale mine, located in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia, is famous for its fancy yellow diamonds.

It’s estimated to have produced around half of the world’s fancy yellow diamond supply.

Former owner Kimberley Diamonds Ltd. inked a special marketing agreement with Tiffany and Co. for the yellow diamonds in 2009.

Kimberley Diamonds suspended operations of the mine in 2015, citing lower revenues from a decline in grades of recovered diamonds.

Gibb River then acquired the mine leases in December 2019.

The deal between the company and the mine’s prospective new owner has been broken up into three payments across two years. 

If Burgundy does not hold up its end of the agreement, Gibb River will retain full ownership of the mine.

The nearby Blina alluvial diamond project, which includes mining and exploration leases, is also included in the deal.

Once the sale is complete, Gibb River Diamonds said it will have more time to focus on the exploration and development of its Edjudina Gold Project and the recently discovered Neta Lodes gold prospect.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.
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