Business Irish

Monday 23 October 2017

Gemstones value upgrade for African Diamonds

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

AFRICAN Diamonds, the Clontarf-based diamond company, said gemstones from a mine it part-owns in Botswana are of better quality, and more valuable than previously thought. The mine is due to begin production late next year.

A specialist Swiss firm has valued diamonds from African Diamond's AK6 mine at $162 a carat. A previous valuation by De Beers calculated the stones were worth just $139 a carat.

"The diamonds from AK6 are deemed to be of very good quality and very attractive to diamond buyers," said Shlomo Tidhar, an expert from Geneva-based Mercury Diamonds.

"Colours are generally very white and the samples showed numerous examples of 'blocky' makeable and strong crystal forms that tend to demand a premium."

AIM-listed African Diamonds, founded by serial investor John Teeling, has a 28pc stake in the mine and an option to raise the stake to 40pc for just £5m (€5.7m).

Canada's Lucara Diamond owns the rest after paying $49m (€36m) last year to replace De Beers, while Botswana's government stands to get a percentage of the profits.

Irish Independent

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