De Beers to Sell its Stake in Gope Exploration

De Beers sold its 50 percent stake in Gope Exploration Company (Pty) Ltd to Gem Diamonds Limited, De Beers said Tuesday. De Beers’ joint venture partner, Falconbridge (Explorations) Botswana, also sold its 50 percent stake to Gem.

Gope Exploration has not been active in prospecting or exploration on the ground in Botswana since 2003, De Beers said in a statement. De Beers’ long-held position is that the Gope deposit did not meet De Beers’ scale criteria necessary for development, and is another step in De Beers’ drive to focus on those assets that best position the company for future growth.

This sale follows recent announcements on the planned sale of Cullinan mine and parts of the Kimberley operations in South Africa, as well as the sale of the De Beers’ 42.2 percent interest in the Fort à la Corne prospecting joint venture in Canada.