West African Diamonds Plc (WAD)
Company Profile and History
WAD is incorporated in England. WAD is a diamond focused explorer with operations in Sierra Leone and Guinea. WAD was formed in 2007 as a demerged company from its original parent, AIM listed African Diamond which is developing the AK6 Diamond Mine in Botswana. WAD acquired the West African Business from African Diamonds in October 2006.
WAD's alluvial diamond mine on the Bomboko Project came on stream in June 2009. Bomboko consist of nine alluvial licences adjacent to Guinea's only diamond mine, Aredor. Extensive sampling has identified a potential resource of up to 750,000 cts (8 000 000 tonnes) at grades up to 28 cpht, mainly gem quality. In November 2008, the company announced the recovery of four large diamonds ranging from 3.8 carats to 9.2 carats at the property as a result of bulk sampling. Production is estimated at 3,500tpm to be rapidly expanded to 35,000tpm. Initial diamond production was 433 carats at a value of US$116 per carat. One 16 carat gem sold for over US$1,000 per carat.
Previous work has been carried out by a number of companies in the Bomboko area over the years. The first to recover diamonds were Soguinex, a subsidiary of African Selection Trust who controlled the diamond fields at Akwatia in Ghana. In the early 1950’s a French company, Berger, worked in the Bomboko area and located a small deposit on the Bassan, a north bank tributary, where it mined some 2,750 carats.
WAD also held a prospecting license covering an area of approximately 53km2 for the Droujba property, which includes the diamond-bearing kimberlites and associated secondary diamond deposits around the Bounoudou area in southeast Guinea. Exploration results showed 1 500 000 tonnes (1,500,000cts) in kimberlite pipes; 330 000 tonnes (260,000cts) in kimberlite dykes; and 400 00cts alluvial.
Significant diamond mineralisation in the Bounoudou area was established in the early 1950’s and diamonds from high grade, shallow alluvial deposits near Bounoudou village rapidly became the most prolific source of mined diamonds in Guinea. Invasion of the company’s licence areas in the latter part of the 1950’s and eventual nationalisation of the diamond mining companies in Guinea in the early 1960’s meant that formal production rapidly declined and has never recovered.
The Soviet Aid Mission of the early 1960’s carried out extensive and detailed diamond exploration of the upper Diani valley and established a number of kimberlites, including a pipe-like body they termed Droujba (“Friendship”) in the Bounoudou kimberlite zone. Additional kimberlite dykes were found in the neighbouring Gourbarako and Avili areas.
Previous drilling and geophysics showed that the Droujba body has a possible subcrop area of around 0.85 hectares below 5-10m of lateritic colluvial deposits. However some authors suggest a pipe of up to 6 hectares in size. There is also considerable uncertainty concerning the geological model of the kimberlite pipe and this will be addressed during the course of 2009 - 2010.
A suite of the most up to date ground geophysical surveys was conducted over the Droujba kimberlite pipe and satellite Katcha dykes during late 2007 by a specialist geophysical contractor from South Africa. The key outcome of the survey confirms that the shape and size of the Droujba pipe appears to be larger than initially thought.
In Country Location
Bomboko is located on the River systems of Bomboko and Bonbokoni and Fangamadou, located on the flood plains of the River Meli..
Droujba property, is located in the Bounoudou area in southeast Guinea
Services and Products
WAD is involved in exploration for and production of diamonds
Number of Employees
Consolidated Income Statement for the Year Ended 30 April 2009
Guinea's official diamond reserves are estimated at over 25 million carats. The Aredor Diamond Mine, Guinea’s only diamond mine for some time, has reserves of over 430000 carats. It stopped production in 2005. In 2008 the government cancelled the license of Trivalence Mining who owns 85 percent of Aredor because it has not produced for three years. Bomboko has a potential resource of up to 750,000 cts. The Mandala and Ouria permits, held by Stellar Diamonds host a 536,000 carat and 144,000 carat diamond resource respectively. WAD is in the process of a reverse takeover of Stellar.
To expand and develop licence areas in Guinea to grow the company’s revenue and unlock shareholders’ value
“The future strategy for WAD is to grow by mergers and acquisition, while continuing to develop our own reserves. The Company intends that the cash resources on listing be used towards: providing focused management and financial resources to its existing operations in Sierra Leone and Guinea; repaying a loan to the Company from African Diamonds, amounting to approximately £400,000; developing a large gold and diamonds tailings resource in Sierra Leone which has a mining licence; developing high grade diamond dykes adjacent to an existing mine in Sierra Leone; developing alluvial diamond mining opportunities on the Company's properties on the Bomboko River plains in Guinea; investigating exploration targets on its Licences; and identifying and acquiring diamond and other mineral projects in West Africa and elsewhere.”
Ownership of Business
|Shareholders who hold more than 3%||Amount||% Holding|
|Strand Nominees Ltd||10,080,086||11.20|
|FAO Marlies Smith||8,700,000||9.70|
|K.B. (C.T.) Nominees Ltd||8,200,000||9.10|
|African Diamonds plc||5,000,000||5.60|
|Nutraco Nominees Ltd||3,323,428||3.70|
Bomboko and Droujba is 100 percent owned by WAD
Benefits Offered and Relations with Government
Recent political instability in Guinea is a concern and the company is keeping a close eye on developments. WAD has managed to continue development of its operations in the country, though with some delays as a consequence of interruption to supply lines and a prolonged rainy season.
WAD’s semi-industrial mining licence was approved by the Ministry of Mines in January 2005 and renewed in 2008.
Every holder of a mining title must pay fixed and variable surface fees, royalties, income tax and other taxes:
Fixed and Surface Fees
|Description||Fixed Fees (FG)||Surface Fees (FG/km²/year)|
|Diamonds and gems|
|Uncut stones||5-10%||Sale value|
|Cut stones||2%||Sale value|
In October 2009 it was announced that WAD in reverse takeover of African Aura’s Stellar Diamonds signed heads of terms to acquire Stellar Diamonds Ltd. Both boards plan to relist the combined venture on AIM. Further announcements regarding the acquisition will be made later in 2009.
African Aura Mining is the result of the merger, announced in April 2009, of Mano River Resources Inc with African Aura Resources Ltd, in which Mano River ended up with 75 percent of the enlarged group. In June 2007, Mano River Resources and SearchGold Resources announced the creation of Stellar Diamonds Ltd. to take over 100% of Mano River’s Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone interests, and 50% of SearchGold’s interest in Guinean Diamond Corporation Ltd., which held the Bouro/Mandala alluvial project. Stellar also signed an agreement with South Africa-based De Beers Group to access their regional Guinea database.