Kimberley Diamonds leaves a poor legacy

Ellendale diamond mine owner Kimberley Diamonds has a history of failed royalty payments to the WA government.

Last week it was revealed the Ellendale diamond mine would close while Kimberley Diamonds moved their operations to Africa, however The West Australian revealed the company still owed the state government about $750,000 on their March quarter royalty payments of five per cent.

Kimberley Diamonds has demonstrated repeated late payments of royalties, with the miner faced with the prospect of losing their tenement four times in the past two years.

In late 2013 Kimberley failed to pay royalties after they received a refund of $12 million from the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF).

Now it is expected Kimberley will shift the $30 million cost of rehabilitating the Ellendale site back to the MRF.

In January this year the Department of Mines and Petroleum launched a forfeiture action over Kimberley’s failure to pay $200,000 in tenement rental for the Ellendale mining lease.

Out of four instances of threats to forfeit their tenement over failure to pay royalties, Kimberley was forced to pay a fine only once, amounting to $3087.

Kimberley announced last week it was shifting focus to the Lerala Mine in Botswana, and has arranged lending of $10 million to fund the operation.

Image: WA Museum

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