File. Botswana Diamonds drilling rig, Gope. Photo: Botswana Diamonds
INTERNATIONAL - A diamond mine in Botswana sold for $8.1million (R102m) at an online auction after its liquidators failed to secure viable offers via conventional bids. 

Online bids for Lerala Diamond Mine opened on May 24 and closed at 5pm local time this Wednesday. 

Lerala, which is owned by Sydney-based Kimberley Diamonds, was placed under judicial management in June last year due to weak sales and high operating costs. 

“I can confirm the winning bid was $8.12m, but beyond that I cannot comment on the identity of the bidder or any other information, until the liquidator gives me the go ahead,” John Taylor, an associate director at auctioneers GoIndustry DoveBid South Africa, said. 

On offer were five kimberlite pipes ranging from 0.16 hectare to 2.35 hectares in area, mining rights, a processing plant that can handle 200 tons per hour, a 4.2MW diesel generator and other assets. 

- BLOOMBERG