Our Mines

Our portfolio incorporates major underground pipe mines and a large high-volume open cast mine

  • Kimberley Ekapa Mining

    Kimberley Ekapa Mining is located in Kimberley, the heart of South Africa’s early diamond rush

  • Kimberley Ekapa Mining

    Kimberley Ekapa Mining is located in Kimberley, the heart of South Africa’s early diamond rush

  • Kimberley Ekapa Mining

    Kimberley Ekapa Mining is located in Kimberley, the heart of South Africa’s early diamond rush


The town of Kimberley is perhaps the world’s most famous diamond producing area. It is where the first hard rock diamond deposits were discovered, hence the name ‘kimberlite,’ and was at the heart of South Africa’s early diamond rush. The Kimberley mines were subsequently integral to the economic development of South Africa as their output effectively financed development of the nascent gold industry.

On 8 July 2016, Petra announced the completion of a joint venture agreement with Ekapa Mining (Pty) Ltd, whereby the two companies would combine their respective operations in Kimberley. This resultant entity, Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (“KEM JV”), now houses the Kimberley Underground mine, numerous tailings retreatment programmes and the Central Treatment Plant.

Combining these assets will lead to operational synergies leading to cost savings in overheads, processing and hauling costs, thereby allowing for a much longer mine life of ca. 20 years for both the Kimberley Underground and tailings operations. KEM is therefore directly contributing to the sustainability of diamond mining operations in Kimberley, to the benefit of all stakeholders.

The Kimberley Underground operation comprises three kimberlite pipe mines: Bultfontein and Dutoitspan and Wesselton, which are currently mining at depths of between 845 and 995 metres below surface. Kimberley Underground’s production is characterised by the better colour commercial white diamonds that are highly sought after by manufacturers.

Below is a diagram illustrating the KEM JV structure, including the effective interest of the various parties.

KEM JV Structure

Click image above to expand diagram.


Key Facts

Location Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Size of Kimberley Underground kimberlite pipes at surface Bultfontein: 10ha
Dutoitspan: 11ha
Wesselton: 9ha
Mine start dates Bultfontein: 1869
Dutoitspan: 1869
Wesselton: 1892
Acquisition by Petra Diamonds
– Kimberley Underground
– Kimberley Mines Assets
May 2010
Jan 2016
Acquisition cost
– Kimberley Underground
– Kimberley Mines Assets
ZAR 15m
ZAR 102m
Ownership* Petra Diamonds: 53.3%1
Itumeleng Petra Diamonds Employee Trust: 12%
Kago Diamonds (Pty) Ltd: 8.4%
Current depth of Resources 1,060m
Mining Method Sub level and block cave
Depth of current mining Bultfontein: 845m
Dutoitspan: 870m
Wesselton: 995m
Mine Plan to 2035
Potential Mine Life +12 years

 1. Refer to Petra’s ‘Effective Interest in Mines’ in the following document: Analyst Guidance Explanatory Notes.


These mines were at the heart of South Africa’s early diamond rush in Kimberley in the late 1800s, where the world’s first hard rock diamond deposits were discovered, hence the name ‘kimberlite’. The Kimberley mines were integral to the economic development of South Africa as their output effectively financed development of the nascent gold industry.

The Kimberley mines were amalgamated into De Beers by 1890. The Dutoitspan pipe was mined as an open pit to a depth of 122 metres and Wesselton and Bultfontein were mined as open pits to a depth of 76 metres. The mines were then converted to chambering (a combination of shrinkage stoping and sub-level caving) as an underground mining method during the period 1890 to 1950. In the 1950s underground mining converted to the more efficient and safer block caving methods, the mining method currently still being used to exploit reserves on all three of the mines.

The mines were closed by De Beers in August 2005 and subsequently Petra operated Kimberley Underground under care and maintenance from September 2007. Petra was given approval to operate the mines under De Beers’ licence, demonstrating the level of confidence the industry leader has in Petra’s overall ability to rehabilitate and operate deep underground diamond mines. This care and maintenance period enabled Petra to complete all the rehabilitation work required in order to ready the operation to recommence production. The acquisition of Kimberley Underground completed in May 2010.

In December 2015, Petra announced the acquisition of an interest in the remaining Kimberley Mine assets in South Africa from De Beers Consolidated Mines Proprietary Limited, in consortium with Ekapa Mining (Pty) Limited, an established Kimberley-based diamond tailings producer. The Kimberley Mines acquisition comprised of a number of tailings dumps in Kimberley and the high volume Central Treatment Plant, at a cost of ZAR102 million (ca. US$7.2 million).

Petra and Ekapa Mining then entered into a joint venture agreement in July 2016, in order to combine their respective operations under one business unit.

The Kimberley Underground mines have a history of producing large diamonds and fancy yellows, such as the Oppenheimer (253 carats rough). The largest diamond ever recovered at Kimberley Underground was +800 carats and the mine is also the source of the Kimberley Octahedral, at 616 carats, one of the largest uncut diamonds in the world.

Reserves & Resources

Category Tonnes (millions) Grade (cpht) Contained Diamonds (Mcts)
Probable 4.5 16.2 0.72
Sub-total 4.5 16.2 0.72
Indicated 9.0 18.8 1.69
Inferred 109.0 6.7 7.34
Sub-total 118.0 7.7 9.03

1. Resource bottom cut-off (Dutoitspan West Extension): 1.0mm.
2. Resource bottom cut-off (all other underground blocks): 0.5mm.
3. Reserve bottom cut-off (surface tailings mineral resources): 1.15mm.
4. Reserve bottom cut-off: 1.15mm
5. Changes in Reserve and Resource figures due to mining depletions. Changes in Reserves also a result of inclusion of Bultfontein 865L Mining Plan and the DTP NWC Mining Plan.
6. Changes in Resources include Petra’s 49.9% attributable share in the Resources of the Combined Kimberley Operations further to the acquisition of the Kimberley Mines in partnership with Ekapa Mining on 18 January 2016.

FY 2016 Results

Unit FY 2016 FY 2015 Variance
Revenue US$M 57.7 41.8 n/a
Diamonds sold Carats 438,680 138,052 n/a
Average price per carat US$ 132 302 n/a
KUM Production1
Tonnes treated Tonnes 721,513 1,196,269 n/a
Diamonds produced Carats 88,572 137,226 n/a
Grade Cpht 12.3 11.5 n/a
KEM Production – attributable to Petra1
Tonnes treated Tonnes 3,583,758 n/a n/a
Diamonds produced Carats 442,897 n/a n/a
Grade Cpht 12.4 n/a n/a
Total Production
Tonnes treated Tonnes 4,305,271 1,196,269 n/a
Diamonds produced Carats 531,469 137,226 n/a
On-mine cash cost per tonne treated ZAR 140 264 n/a
Expansion Capex US$M 14.7 10.5 n/a
Sustaining Capex US$M 2.1 3.4 n/a
Total Capex US$M 16.8 13.9 n/a

  1. KUM production represents the Kimberley Underground ROM and Tailings production for the period up to 17 January 2016 (pre the Kimberley Ekapa Mining consortium formation).
  2. KEM production represents Petra’s 75.9% attributable share in the KEM consortium (including both ROM production from Kimberley Underground and Tailings production).


The combined KEM operations (as announced on 8 July 2016), comprising the Kimberley Underground mine and the numerous KEM tailings operations, resulted in Petra’s attributable production increasing to 531,469 carats for the Year. Petra’s results, including diamond production and revenues from resultant diamond sales, reflect Petra’s attributable interest of 75.9% in the KEM consortium.

Mine Plan (stated in 100% terms; Petra to record at 75.9%)

The combined operations will yield synergies leading to cost savings in overheads, processing and hauling costs, and will allow for a mine plan to 2035 (previously Petra’s Kimberley Underground operation only had a mine plan to 2026).

FY 2017 ROM production is planned at ca. 1.2 Mt ROM at a grade of ca. 16 cpht. The aforementioned synergies will allow for increased longer-term production levels at Kimberley Underground, with ROM tonnages planned to reach steady state of ca. 1.6 Mtpa from FY 2019 onwards. Petra has therefore assigned additional Capex of US$25 million in FY 2017 to underground development and shaft upgrades in order to achieve these higher production levels. This Capex will be self-funded by KEM JV’s free cashflow.

FY 2017 tailings treatment is planned at ca. 8.6 Mt at an average grade of 9 – 10 cpht, with 5.5 Mt to be processed through the CTP and 3.1 Mt through existing tailings treatment facilities contributed to KEM JV.

Petra and its joint venture partner will spend ca. US$5 million on enhancements to the CTP plant in FY 2017 in order to increase throughput from ca. 6 Mtpa to 8.5 – 9.0 Mtpa, as well as introducing a crushing circuit in order to treat ROM material. The existing plants at Kimberley Underground, Joint Shaft Plant and Wesselton Plant, which are together capable of processing ca. 1.1 Mt, are currently being decommissioned, with the plan for all Kimberley Underground ore to be processed through the CTP from Q2 FY 2017 onwards.


The KEM JV business plan envisages a combined steady state throughput of ca. 8.5 – 9 Mtpa (ca. 1.6 Mtpa ROM and 7.2 Mtpa tailings) from FY 2019 onwards.



Kimberley schematic July 2015

 Click on schematic to enlarge.

Mining Right

Crown Resources (Pty) Limited (‘‘Crown Resources’’) holds a valid and unencumbered new order mining right (the ‘‘Kimberley Underground Mining Right’’) dated 7 May 2010. The Kimberley Underground Mining Right was initially granted to De Beers pursuant to item 7 of Schedule II of the MPRDA and was ceded to Crown Resources by notarial deed of cession registered in the Mineral and Petroleum Titles Registration Office.

The Kimberley Underground Mining Right confers on Crown Resources the exclusive right for the period covered thereby to mine for diamonds in relation to the areas it refers to until 6 May 2040. Pursuant to the MPRDA, the Kimberley Underground Mining Right is renewable (for periods of up to 30 years for each renewal) on the basis more fully set out in section 24 of the MPRDA.

Section 2 of the Royalty Act requires Crown Resources to pay the South African Government a royalty for minerals recovered under the Kimberley Underground Mining Right. Pursuant to section 4 of the Royalty Act, the royalty is to be paid on gross sales in accordance with a defined formula set out in the Royalty Act. The formula applicable to rough diamonds is as follows: 0.5% + (earnings before interest and taxes as defined in Section 5 of the Royalty Act /(gross sales x 9) x 100) but not exceeding 7%.

In addition, South Africa has a rough diamond export levy requirement of 5% as set out in section of the Diamond Export Levy Act 15 of 2007 (“Export Levy Act”). Producers are however exempt from this levy in respect of production that is exported provided that a certain percentage of their production is sold to local diamond beneficiation licence holders, on the basis more fully set out in sections 7, 8 and 9 of the Export Levy Act.

Crown Resources is also subject to corporate tax in South Africa at the rate of 28% in terms of section 5 and other provisions of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962.

There are no fiscal stabilisation provisions in place in relation to Kimberley Underground Mines.


  • May 2010 Acquisition by Petra
  • 531,469 carats FY 2016 Production
  • 9.0m carats Total diamond resource


Kimberley Underground Diamonds