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A selection of fancy yellow diamonds from the Ellendale-Blina site in Western Australia. Image: Gibb River Diamonds
A selection of fancy yellow diamonds from the Ellendale-Blina site in Western Australia. Image: Gibb River Diamonds

New focus on old diamond mine: Ellendale to get new lease of life

Burgundy Diamond Mines has announced that it aims to establish a new fancy colour diamond cutting and polishing facility in Western Australia as it takes control of the Ellendale Mine.
Peter Ravenscroft, CEO and managing director Burgundy Diamond Mines
Peter Ravenscroft, CEO and managing director Burgundy Diamond Mines
"We will use this capability to maximise the value of our own future fancy colour diamond production and to pursue other business opportunities in this high-value segment"
Peter Ravenscroft, Burgundy Diamond Mines

In a release to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the company announced “it has advanced several recent arrangements that will facilitate its evolving strategy to grow into downstream operations in the high-value Fancy Colour Diamonds sector.

“Based off the proposed start of production of Fancy Yellow diamonds from the Ellendale Diamond Project in 2022, the Company has previously announced the potential of cutting and polishing some of this production in Western Australia to unlock further latent value.”

The announcement also detailed a strategy for leasing secure premises in Perth, which would comprise a purpose-built high-security facility specifically designed for ‘downstream’ diamond operations.

An agreement has also been reached for the purchase of specialised equipment for the valuing, cutting, polishing, grading, secure storage and sale of high-value diamonds.

Burgundy aims to recruit specialist staff, such as highly-specialised cutting, polishing and grading professionals, as well as other skills critical to the coordination, control and security of a production stream of high-value fancy colour diamonds.

The company has stated its goal to become a leading ‘mid-cap’ diamond company focused on global diamond exploration and project development.

Peter Ravenscroft, managing director Burgundy Diamond Mines, said: “This is an ideal opportunity to secure specialist facilities and skills as a springboard for our planned business growth.

“We will use this capability to maximise the value of our own future fancy colour diamond production and to pursue other business opportunities in this high-value segment.”

Since mid-2020, the company has acquired interests in three diamond projects:

  • An option to acquire 100 per cent ownership of the Ellendale and Blina projects in Western Australia, which, together are referred to as the ‘Ellendale Diamond Project’, from Gibb River Diamonds
  • An ‘earn-in agreement’ with North Arrow Minerals for the Naujaat diamond project, in Nunavut, Canada
  • An agreement in Botswana with the privately-owned Diamond Exploration Strategies, where Burgundy is providing funding of $US1.5 million over three years to finance exploration activities, earning 50 per cent ownership of any discoveries made.

The Ellendale Mine once produced approximately 50 per cent of the world’s yellow diamonds and had an exclusive offtake agreement with Tiffany & Co.

Operations were suspended in 2015 when a previous owner, Kimberley Diamond Company, entered voluntary administration. According to its website, Burgundy Diamond Mines aims to return the mine to "fully operational production towards the end of the two-year Option period" in March 2023.

Australian company India Bore Diamond Holdings (IBDH) controls separate sections of the Ellendale site, and recently announced it had been granted additional tenements covering extensive areas of alluvial channels. 

"These five additional tenements substantially increase the highly prospective alluvial channel deposits that join with the company’s existing mining lease, where the company has already recovered high grades of gem-quality fancy yellow diamonds," IBDH said in a statement published on its website.

IBDH is planning to commence commercial diamond mining operations "in the current season".

 

More reading:
New owner for historic Australian diamond mine
Australian company acquires Ellendale Diamond Mine lease
New Aussie mine to yield fancy yellow diamonds
Ellendale diamond mine suspends operations
 











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