The Western Australian government is looking for experienced companies to operate the Ellendale mine, famous for its fancy-yellow diamonds.
On offer are Ellendale’s E4 and E9 pits, storage facilities and infrastructure, which belonged to Kimberley Diamond Company before the company went into administration in 2015. For the past two years, the state’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has been managing the site through its abandoned-mines program, keeping it viable for future development.
Ellendale produced around half of the world’s supply of rare yellow diamonds during peak production, and was also the main supplier of fancy-yellow diamonds for luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co.
POZ Minerals — a new Western Australia-based mining company — recently bought the Blina diamond project, an area adjacent to the Ellendale mine. Sample testing there yielded a parcel of stones greater than 2 carats, including a number of fancy yellows, with an overall valuation of $389 per carat. The fancy-yellow diamonds were expected to sell for $3,391 per carat. POZ chairman Jim Richards met with Tiffany recently to discuss a potential deal between the two companies, according to Stockhead.
Mining companies interested in operating Ellendale have until November 30 to submit an expression of interest to the government, while the department plans to announce the chosen company by early 2019, it said.