Lonrho Mining quits SA, shifts focus to Angola diamond project
ASX-listed Lonrho Mining could now focus on its joint-venture (JV) Lulo diamond project, in Angola, after its South African subsidiary companies had been successfully sold to New African Mining and African Renaissance Holdings.“It is with a sense of great relief that this particular chapter in the company’s affairs, which accounted for most of the accumulated losses, has now ended. Our intention is now to focus on, explore and hopefully develop the Lulo diamond project in Angola,” Lonrho CEO Miles Kennedy said in a statement.He added that a significant portion of the funds the company had raised in the past year had been used at the South African operations and on its failed Aim listing.Lonrho’s JV partner in the Lulo project, Angolan State-owned national diamond company, Endiama, had made financial contributions to allow exploration activities on the Angolan project to continue. This has resulted in Lonrho, which owned 39% of the Lulo project, having incurred debt of $430 000 that would have to be repaid soon, said Kennedy.The company had on Friday announced that it would undertake a capital raising of just over $4-million to pay down the Lulo commitments, fund exploration and to fund development activities and provide working capital.The availability of funds would determine the speed at which exploration and development activities at the project took place.If funds are not immediately forthcoming, we shall miss the opportunity to commence work prior to the onset of the wet season, which commences in December. This means that the real work would only be able to start in March 2010,” said Kennedy.