African Diamonds ups stake in project
Irish exploration company African Diamonds, which is listed on London's AIM market, is to increase its stake in the AK6 diamond project in Botswana.
Late last year, Canadian-listed Lucara, part of the Lundin Group, took over De Beers' 70.3pc stake in AK6.
An agreement with Lucara gave African Diamonds an option to increase its stake from 29pc to 40pc for £4.8m (€5.4m). The Irish company has now taken this option ahead of the April 14 deadline.
African Diamonds placed just over 24 million shares at a price of 40p per share to raise around £9.6m to fund the deal.
Chairman John Teeling said the funds would be used to increase its stake in the AK6 diamond project to 40pc, to fund an early works programme on the mine and to explore promising diamond targets on their Botswana acreage.
He said that during the struggle to commercialise the AK6 discovery, top-quality exploration ground was ignored.
"Targets such as AK8 and AK9 are known to shareholders, but we have other prospective kimberlites, in particular, BK5.
"We now have time and money to focus on these targets. There are more diamond mines to be discovered in Botswana," he said.