Marange Diamond Fields
The Marange Diamond Fields are widely regarded as the richest alluvial diamond deposits globally.
In August 2018, the Company announced an agreement between Vast and Red Mercury (Pvt) Ltd, a company owned by the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust. The agreement provides for the formation of a joint venture, subject to legal due diligence, between Vast and Red Mercury to develop, mine and market diamonds produced from the Heritage Concession in the Marange Diamond Fields. The Heritage Concession is close to Vast’s historic Marange Diamond Field claims and is understood to be an extension of the same geological system. For more information on the proposed joint venture please click here.
The Company has also created a special purpose vehicle between AIM-listed Botswana Diamonds plc (13.33% interest) and Vast (86.87% interest) under which Botswana will provide to Vast free of charge the benefit of its knowhow on all aspects of exploration, mining, processing and marketing in relation to the Heritage Concession. It is also intended that Botswana Diamonds will give assistance in interpretation of geological and other information concerning the Heritage Concession site. For more information on the SPV, please click here.
An independent Competent Person’s preliminary geological assessment has been completed relating to the Heritage Concession. The geological assessment highlights that the property contains several targets for modern alluvial diamond placer deposits. The grades of the known proximal modern alluvial placers draining the Marange Diamond Fields elsewhere range in grade from 50-500 carats per hundred tons (‘cpht’), most typically 100–200 cpht. There is also potential for remnants of the basal Umkondo unit in the Heritage Concession, which runs at grades from 100-3,000 cpht elsewhere in the Marange Diamond Fields.
Just outside the eastern edge of the property is the closest known diamond mine within the Marange Diamond Fields. Situated within Block E2, the deposit was discovered and operated from late 2010 and records indicate that an average stone size of c.5 ct/stn and an average diamond value of c.$80/ct was achieved from this block. It is estimated that over 60 million carats have been recovered from the Marange Diamond Fields to date.
With input from Botswana Diamonds, the Company has prepared base case commercial scenarios and has made the decision, subject to legal due diligence, to proceed to the full joint venture agreement with Red Mercury as outlined in the Company’s announcement of 22 August 2018. Subject to that the next steps will be to follow-up field work to investigate the potential of modern alluvial diamond placer deposits and the possibility of the basal Umkondo unit on the Heritage Concession. Upon positive results, the field work will be closely followed by pitting, drilling and bulk sampling which will form part of prefeasibility studies.
Statement from the Minister for Provincial Affairs in Manicaland:
“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to meet the team from Vast Resources, a London Stock Exchange listed company which is not new to our country. VAST Resources has been operating in Zimbabwe since 2004, with gold mining operations in the Chegutu area, and recently in Guruve at Eureka Gold Mine, so they are very well versed with the dynamics of our country.
“Vast Resources has plans to work with our local people in Marange. Indications are that so far the process of engagement has been very promising and remains positive. My office commends this, as this is a classic case of us showing that Zimbabwe and indeed Manicaland is open for business and we are already engaging and re-engaging with those that are willing to do business. Our country, and indeed the area of Diamond deposits for example remains one that is largely untapped and presents numerous opportunities for us and would be partners to extract value that will benefit the people of Manicaland.
I was most impressed by the vision as espoused by the organization’s CEO, Andrew Prelea and the organizations’ modus operandi. For a change, we appear to be engaging with an organization that understands that the community is indeed a major stakeholder who should participate in the realization of value from its natural endowments.
“It is my hope that Vast Resources continues the process of engagement with transparency and with the authenticity they have so far demonstrated. Our country is open for business and I am positive everything will be done to ensure that the ongoing engagements will result in mining operations. I also hope that VAST Resources can go out there and tell their story and share their experiences about Zimbabwe, under the new dispensation so far. It is my hope that this is only the beginning of very big things to come. We are inviting more investment, from both our local partners and foreign partners as we embark on a journey to making Zimbabwe an upper middle income economy by 2030, a vision that has been expressed by our President, His Excellency E.D. Mnangagwa.”
Hon. Dr. Ellen Gwaradzimba (Sen)
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Manicaland.