The mothballed Ellendale mine in Western Australia, renowned for its fancy yellow diamonds, is officially up for grabs.
The state government is calling for expressions of interest from mining companies to reopen the mine, which was operated between 2002 and 2015 by Kimberley Diamond Company, which went into administration.
Liquidators sold off plant, equipment and machinery and then quit the failed operation, leaving it in the hands of the state government.
Ellendale, located 120km east of Derby, yielded around half of the world’s supply of rare yellow diamonds during peak production, and was also the main supplier of fancy-yellow diamonds for luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co.
According to Western Australia officials, the mine is still considered to contain marketable diamonds
A panel from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety will evaluate tenders ahead of a formal decision by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.
“I expect the successful company will have experience in diamond mining and marketing, they’ll understand Western Australia’s regulatory requirements and be able to fund the new operation,” Johnston said.
Submissions close on Nov. 30 with a decision expected early in the new year. The winning company will be invited to apply for a new mining lease.