By Michelle Graff
Two workers at De Beers’s Voorspoed mine in South Africa, which produced 649,000 carats of diamonds last year. The diamond miner and marketer is searching for a buyer for the mine, which has been in operation since 2008.
London--De Beers Group announced Monday that it is looking for a buyer for its Voorspoed mine in South Africa.

It’s an open-pit mine in the country’s Free State Province that opened in 2008 and is known for producing large white and fancy color diamonds.

Voorspoed produced 649,000 carats of diamonds in 2016, according to parent company Anglo American’s annual report, making it one of De Beers’s smaller mines.

De Beers said it is a looking to sell the mine to a “lower-cost operator” that could extend its operating life beyond 2020.

Voorspoed is one of two mines De Beers operates in South Africa. The other is the Venetia mine in Limpopo Province, an open-pit mine that is being taken underground at a cost of 20 billion South African rand ($1.46 billion). Venetia is the bigger and older of the two operations.

The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited is working as the financial adviser to De Beers on the sale of Voorspoed, and the contacts there for the deal are Sandra du Toit, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and Randall Starkey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The announcement that it is looking to off-load Voorspoed is the latest in a string of mine sale and closure announcements from De Beers.

It sold the historic Kimberley Mines in South Africa at the end of 2015; closed and then flooded the Snap Lake Mine in Canada after failing to find a buyer; and confirmed earlier this year that it’s considering shutting down land-based mining operations in Namibia.

And earlier this month the diamond company announced it will close the open-pit Victor mine in Canada by 2019, leaving it with just one active diamond mine there.

De Beers has, however, also opened a new diamond mine in Canada, Gahcho Kué in 2016, and is investing in off-shore diamond mining in Namibia via the launch of a $157 million exploration and sampling vessel and announced plans last week for the construction of a $142 million custom-built diamond mining vessel, the largest of its kind in the world.

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