Africa, Business

De Beers and AngloGold to find more bright shiny stuff in the deep dark sea

By Branko Brkic 5 October 2009

You can find both diamonds and gold - the two glittering minerals at the top of the precious shiny stuff pyramid - in the sea. Who knew?

Gold company AngloGold Ashanti and diamond company De Beers formally announced this morning a joint venture to explore undersea together, creating a unusual, almost bizarre, combination.

The terms of the joint venture are slightly weird. A Stock Exchange News Service release says the companies will be “exploring for, and ultimately mining, gold and other minerals and metals, but excluding diamonds, unless these occur together with other target minerals and metals”. Wait, say that again?
The basis of the joint venture seems to be that De Beers, which has a fantastic underwater exploration capacity including a dozen or so ships, will help AngloGold explore for gold and if anything comes of it, they will split the find.

Hence, they intend establishing a joint venture, a technical services company, currently called, somewhat unimaginatively, Techco which will be jointly owned by AngloGold Ashanti and De Beers. “The participants intend to develop Techco into a fully functional marine exploration and mining services company, including all the skills, expertise and further proprietary technology that it may develop or acquire, within the joint venture. “By combining one of the world’s most successful gold exploration teams with the foremost authority in ocean mining and exploration, we’re creating a powerful base to tackle this new frontier,” AngloGold Ashanti CEO Mark Cutifani said.

By Tim Cohen

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