Kimberley Diamonds restarts Botswana Lerala mine

Kimberley Diamonds restarts operations at Botswana Lerala mineKimberley Diamonds Limited (ASX:KDL) is going ahead with the re-commissioning of its Lerala Diamond project in Botswana, which was placed on care and maintenance in July 2012 by former owner Mantle Diamonds.

The Australian miner said it plans to spend $15 million to restart the operation, with work is expected to begin in the first half of 2015.

The company’s board also decided to defer the development of its Ellendale mine, after failing to secure a price increase from one of its largest customers.

Meanwhile it will continue to focus on Lerala, which is expected to produce 400,000 carats of diamonds per year once it reaches full capacity.

Last month the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Botswana’s economy grew at a faster pace in 2013 thanks to an improved performance of its mining sector, driven mainly by a rebound in diamond exports.

The world’s largest diamond mine in terms of total value produced annually, De Beers’ Orapa, is located in Botswana.