De Beers plans to close Koffiefontein Mine

De Beers Consolidated Mines on Friday said that it will close its Koffiefontein Mine in the Free State Province. The Mine opened in 1870 following the discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1866.

DBCM has formally given notice to the Department of Minerals and Energy as required by South Africa’s Minerals Act. The company’s mining license expires on Feb. 4 and in terms of mining legislation it is required to give the DME such notice within 14 days of ceasing mining operations.

Koffiefontein Mine has been operating at a significant loss since 2001 and, in spite of taking a number of remedial steps to address the mines economic viability and to return it to profitability, the mine continued to operate at a loss at the end of 2005, DBCM said in a statement. Recent attempts at selling the mine were been successful.

DBCM will begin consultations with the 329 employees and the National Union of Mineworkers required under South Africa’s the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995. The company says it will work to minimize the adverse effects of the job losses, including the possibility of training in other job sectors.