March 20, 2013 Vancouver, BC – Rockwell Diamonds Inc. (“Rockwell” or the “Company”) (TSX: RDI; JSE: RDI) is pleased to announce that it has, consequent upon the Old Order Mining Rights held by Jasper having been converted into New Order Mining Rights, completed its acquisition of the Jasper Mine by settling the purchase consideration through the issue of shares.
The agreement to acquire the Jasper Mine project, which is contiguous to Rockwell’s Saxendrift Mine, formed part of the transaction to unwind the Company’s Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”) partnership with Africa Vanguard Resources (“AVR”) (as announced on March 19, 2012):
- Jasper acquisition: Rockwell’s application for the New Order Mining Right at Jasper has recently been approved, triggering the payment by the Company of R2.0 million (C$221,484) in Rockwell shares listed on the JSE Limited, to the Jasper shareholders. A total of 533,332 shares were issued at R3.75 (C$0.41) per share, which represents the 5-day volume weighted moving average price at the time that the agreements were signed in March 2012. The Jasper shareholders have undertaken not to trade these shares for a period of one year.
- Unwinding of AVR BEE shareholding: A new black economic empowerment partner, which shares the Company’s vision and is committed to adding value to Rockwell has been identified. Good progress has been made in terms of securing external funding to cover purchase consideration by the new BEE shareholder in order to finalize the unbundling of the transaction with AVR.
The Company has outlined the way forward for this newly acquired property. Geological studies to estimate the resources at the Jasper Mine are well advanced and the Company is on track to release a NI 43-101 compliant technical statement before the end of May 2013. Initial assessments of the alluvial Jasper deposit suggest that its production profile may be similar to Saxendrift in terms of quality, size and value. Accordingly, by processing materials mined from Jasper at the Company’s Saxendrift Mine, there is the potential to extend the life of the Saxendrift operation with limited new investment. The Company is also reviewing the possible construction of an in field screen at Jasper with projected efficiency benefits for the overall operating cost structure of the mine.
“The Middle Orange River region, which is known for its large and high-valued gem-quality diamonds, is a key area of focus for Rockwell, with the Company targeting a processing capacity of 500,000 m3 per month of quality gravels. The Jasper Mine project is an important component of this strategy as it provides the potential to extend the mine life of the contiguous Saxendrift Mine,” explains James Campbell, CEO, Rockwell Diamonds. “Jasper increases our options within the Saxendrift Complex to grow our production profile, and deliver on our forecast recoveries.”
1. In order to convert an Old Order Mining Right to a New Order Mining Right the holder must lodge, amongst other things, a Social and Labour Plan and an undertaking to expand opportunities for historically disadvantaged persons (HDSA’s) to enter the mineral industry.
For further information on Rockwell and its operations in South Africa, please contact
James Campbell CEO +27 (0)83 457 3724
Stéphanie Leclercq Investor Relations +27 (0)83 307 7587
About Rockwell Diamonds:
Rockwell is engaged in the business of operating and developing alluvial diamond deposits, with a goal to become a mid-tier diamond production company. The Company has two operational mines, which it is progressively optimizing, as well as a third mine, Saxendrift Hill Complex, which will come into production in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Rockwell also has two development projects and a pipeline of earlier stage properties with future development potential. The operations are based on high throughput processing capability and Saxendrift, the flagship mine has among the lowest unit costs in the industry, as a result of implementing fit for purpose technologies.
The Company is known for producing large, high quality gem stone diamonds comprising a major portion of its diamond recoveries and has a beneficiation joint venture that enables it to participate in the profits on the sale of the polished diamonds.
Rockwell also evaluates merger and acquisition opportunities which have the potential to expand its mineral resources and production profile and would provide accretive value to the Company.
No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained in this news release.
Forward Looking Statements
Except for statements of historical fact, this news release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include uncertainties and costs related to exploration and development activities, such as those related to determining whether mineral resources exist on a property; uncertainties related to expected production rates, timing of production and cash and total costs of production and milling; uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary licenses, permits, electricity, surface rights and title for development projects; operating and technical difficulties in connection with mining development activities; uncertainties related to the accuracy of our mineral resource estimates and our estimates of future production and future cash and total costs of production and diminishing quantities or grades of mineral resources; uncertainties related to unexpected judicial or regulatory procedures or changes in, and the effects of, the laws, regulations and government policies affecting our mining operations; changes in general economic conditions, the financial markets and the demand and market price for mineral commodities such and diesel fuel, steel, concrete, electricity, and other forms of energy, mining equipment, and fluctuations in exchange rates, particularly with respect to the value of the US dollar, Canadian dollar and South African Rand; changes in accounting policies and methods that we use to report our financial condition, including uncertainties associated with critical accounting assumptions and estimates; environmental issues and liabilities associated with mining and processing; geopolitical uncertainty and political and economic instability in countries in which we operate; and labour strikes, work stoppages, or other interruptions to, or difficulties in, the employment of labour in markets in which we operate our mines, or environmental hazards, industrial accidents or other events or occurrences, including third party interference that interrupt operation of our mines or development projects.
For further information on Rockwell, Investors should review Rockwell’s home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.