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Sat 10 Dec 2016 12:38 AM

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Dubai's Citigate inks JV deal for west African diamond mines

Agreement signed with Stellar Diamonds for operation of mines in Liberia and Guinea

Dubai's Citigate inks JV deal for west African diamond mines

Dubai-based Citigate Commodities Trading has signed a joint venture agreement with Stellar Diamonds, the London listed diamond development company focused on west Africa, for Safa Afrique, its diamond mining portfolio.

Under the deal, Stellar Diamonds will be operating mines in Liberia and Guinea for the first phase while Citigate Commodities Trading has been appointed as the official off-taker of all diamonds produced.

The agreement follows a deal signed in August when Citigate agreed to acquire the diamond mines in Guinea and Liberia.

The Guinea mine is an advanced brown fields project at trial mining stage with sufficient infrastructure and machinery in place with a resource of 3.3m carats. It has an estimated in-situ value of $518 million.

In Liberia, 670 sq km of land for exploration is known as the source of the regions’ rare coloured diamonds. Type II diamonds are extremely rare as only 2 percent of all gem quality diamonds in the world are of that quality.

Tohib Iyiola, CEO of Citigate International, said: “As the mining season approaches in the West African diamond producing nations, Safa Afrique Ltd continues its activities in the sub-region to provide its GCC-based investors substantial returns from the diamond industry."

Stellar completed a 100,000 tonne trial mining exercise in Guinea in June from which total sales generated equalled $1,228,000. It is anticipated that a further 50,000 tonnes of kimberlite will be mined and processed in order to determine with more accuracy the diamond grade and value.

In February, Stellar was awarded two licences covering a total area of 670.54 square kilometres in the west of Liberia, around the key diamond area of Kumgbo towards the border with Sierra Leone a place known particularly for its fancy coloured and rare diamonds.

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