Thursday, July 16 2015

By Courtney Pearson

Kimberley Diamonds
Kimberley Diamonds has closed the Ellendale mine, which produced half the world’s yellow diamonds.

A rare yellow diamond mine in the Kimberley will close due to disappointing revenue at auction, putting nearly 100 employees in limbo.

The Ellendale diamond mine in north-west WA was suspended by Kimberley Diamonds due to lower grades, size distributions and prices, and subsidiary, Kimberley Diamond Company (KDC), put into administration.

“Prices achieved at the auction held last week in Antwerp were significantly lower than those forecasted, resulting from a sharp, unexpected decline in the rough diamond market,” the company said in a statement.

“As a result, KDC is unable to continue trading solvently and the KDC board has been left with no option but to place KDC into external administration.”

Administrators for KDC told creditors that they were owed $13.5 million while it was unknown how much was owed to employees.

Ellendale mine plant manager Bruce Vermey told the ABC that he was unhappy with the way the redundancies were handled.

“Unfortunately it was a little bit ad hoc, not all staff were contacted, they were met at the airport by HR (human resources) and told their services were no longer required,” he said.

Jirsch Sutherland’s Sule Arnautovic, Trajan John Kukulovski and Chris Williamson were appointed as administrators.

The Ellendale mine produced about half of the global supply of yellow diamonds.