- Irish exploration firm, African Diamonds, has suspended legal action against De Beers over plans to get its Botswana AK6 diamond mine into production, after government rejected application for a retention license.
African Diamonds, which owns 28.38 percent in AK06 with De Beers holding 71 percent, today said that it had been informed by Botswana's director of mines that, "retention license applied for by De Beers was not considered and in his view was not formally lodged, as a mining license application was still pending."
This has therefore resulted in negotiations for a mining license for AK06 mine continuing and are expected to be complete by end of month.
Misunderstanding between De Beers and African Diamonds erupted in July over project as De Beers cited potential power issues meant it was not economically viable to develop mine, and sought to delay it by two years.
Both parties also reportedly disagreed on potential marketing of diamonds from AK06.
African Diamonds has announced that it received notification from De Beers that an agreement had been reached with Botswana government to market diamonds through Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB), in a similar fashion to current Debswana production.
Due to these developments, African Diamonds has reportedly agreed to defer court case it brought to Botswana High Court against De Beers, scheduled for today.
"Earlier attempts by De Beers to defer project were rejected by Botswana government. Difficulties with marketing of diamonds have been ironed out," said John Teeling, chairman of African Diamonds.
Mr Teeling was quoted as saying, "African Diamonds is satisfied with new agreement. Final details are now being worked out to enable agreement on terms of a mining license to be completed by 30 September. Our court case is on hold."
At time of going to press, De Beers had not given its response with regards to the matter.
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