De Beers may follow its resumption of exploration for diamonds in the Northern Cape by looking at opportunities in Zimbabwe and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“I’m excited about what I’m seeing in Zimbabwe,” said Phillip Barton, CEO of the De Beers South African unit. “If we get licences, we would have a further look.”
The company is looking for deposits in SA after getting 16 exploration licences in the Northern Cape, and Barton said it wants to extend searches to the Free State, the North West and Limpopo, where De Beers is working on the $2bn Venetia project. It’s natural to look into nearby Zimbabwe, he said.
“We have Venetia mine that’s literally 20km from the Zimbabwe border,” Barton said on the sidelines of the annual Mining Indaba in Cape Town. “Why would it be just on the one side?”
In addition, De Beers is considering looking for exploration licences in the DRC if the legal situation improves, as well as adding another ship to its fleet of five looking for marine deposits off Namibia.