Stellar Diamonds extends sale of Guinea assets, refinances loan

Africa-focused Stellar Diamonds (LON:STEL), which agreed in June to sell its Guinean assets to BDG Capital Limited for $2 million, extended Monday the exclusivity period of the deal to allow the buyer complete its due diligence.

The diamond producer said BDG Capital has now until the end of August to complete the examination of assets process, adding the deadline may be extended further.

The diamond miner is now focused on its Tongo-Tonguma project in Sierra Leone, which has the potential to generate earnings of $45 million a year.

It noted the due diligence is largely completed, except for completion of the audit of one of Stellar's Guinean subsidiaries and tax filings being completed for all three branches being disposed of — Ressources Tassilimiman Baoule, Ressources Mandala Guinea and West African Diamonds.

The miner also said a further $250,000 is expected from BDG, taking its total exclusivity fee to $500,000.

In a separate statement, Stellar Diamonds said it has refinanced its existing US1.2 million convertible loan note with note holders Deutsche Balaton, Creditforce Ltd, and its non-executive director Steven Poulton.

Shares in the company got a nice boost on the news, trading up 7.7% to 4.84p in London at 12:44PM. However, they have fallen 33% so far this year, leaving it with a market capitalization of just 1.4 million pounds (about $1.8 million).

The diamond miner decided to offload those units to focus on its Tongo-Tonguma project in Sierra Leone, which has the potential to generate earnings of $45 million a year, according to the company.

It is estimated the mine in Sierra Leone, the country’s second largest diamond project ever, could produce 200,000 carats per year, generating more than $45 million annually, over a minimum mine life of 21 years.