VANCOUVER, Nov. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Rockwell Diamonds Inc. ("Rockwell" or
the "Company") (TSX: RDI; JSE: RDI; OTCBB: RDIAF) announces that it has
reached an agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers ("NUM") to
implement continuous operations ('contops') and has concluded a two
year wage settlement at its Northern Cape Operations.
The Company is pleased to report that an agreement has been signed with
the NUM to convert its Northern Cape operations which currently
comprise the Saxendrift and Klipdam mines, to continuous operations
(contops). The application to the Department of Mineral Resources
("DMR") for this conversion has been submitted. It is supported by the
NUM, a crucial criterion in obtaining the approval of the DMR. Once
implemented, the mines will be operated on four shifts, seven days a
week, up from the current three shifts per day and five day working
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the NUM as the
conversion to contops will have broad ranging benefits to all
stakeholders once implemented," says James Campbell, the CEO of
Rockwell. "This will lead to the creation of employment opportunities
in the Northern Cape, which is currently burdened with a 43%
unemployment rate. For Rockwell, it will be equally beneficial as
increasing our production off the same fixed cost base will enable us
to optimize the returns on our investments in our mines."
He adds that "at the Klipdam mine, contops will make it more feasible to
increase the life of mine in the short to medium term while at
Saxendrift we have identified an opportunity to improve margins. At our
Tirisano mine which went into production in mid-October, we implemented
contops from start-up of the new mine, as we had previously obtained
the required approvals."
In addition, the Company has agreed on a two year wage settlement with
the unit representative of the NUM for the Northern Cape. Accordingly,
annual wage increases of 8% will be granted for the next two years
until 2013. The agreement allows for an adjustment should the consumer
price index (CPI) exceed the agreed rate.
At Tirisano which falls under a different bargaining unit, the Company
has an existing wage settlement agreement which will come up for
renewal in June 2012.
"We reached a mutually agreeable settlement following a protracted
negotiation process with the NUM," explains Campbell. "We believe that
the result was fair and equitable, taking into account the wellbeing of
our workforce, but not to the detriment of our efforts to improve the
financial performance of the Company."
About Rockwell Diamonds:
Rockwell is engaged in the business of operating and developing alluvial
diamond deposits, with a goal to become a mid-tier diamond mining
company. The Company has three existing operations, which it is
progressively optimizing, two development projects and a pipeline of
earlier stage properties with future development potential.
Rockwell also evaluates merger and acquisition opportunities which have
the potential to expand its mineral resources and production profile
and would provide accretive value to the Company.
No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information
contained in this news release.
Forward Looking Statements
Except for statements of historical fact, this news release contains
certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable
securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized
by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe",
"anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that
certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Although the
Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking
statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not
guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may
differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
in forward-looking statements include uncertainties and costs related
to exploration and development activities, such as those related to
determining whether mineral resources exist on a property;
uncertainties related to expected production rates, timing of
production and cash and total costs of production and milling;
uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary licenses,
permits, electricity, surface rights and title for development
projects; operating and technical difficulties in connection with
mining development activities; uncertainties related to the accuracy of
our mineral resource estimates and our estimates of future production
and future cash and total costs of production and diminishing
quantities or grades if mineral resources; uncertainties related to
unexpected judicial or regulatory procedures or changes in, and the
effects of, the laws, regulations and government policies affecting our
mining operations; changes in general economic conditions, the
financial markets and the demand and market price for mineral
commodities such and diesel fuel, steel, concrete, electricity, and
other forms of energy, mining equipment, and fluctuations in exchange
rates, particularly with respect to the value of the US dollar,
Canadian dollar and South African Rand; changes in accounting policies
and methods that we use to report our financial condition, including
uncertainties associated with critical accounting assumptions and
estimates; environmental issues and liabilities associated with mining
and processing; geopolitical uncertainty and political and economic
instability in countries in which we operate; and labour strikes, work
stoppages, or other interruptions to, or difficulties in, the
employment of labour in markets in which we operate our mines, or
environmental hazards, industrial accidents or other events or
occurrences, including third party interference that interrupt
operation of our mines or development projects.
For further information on Rockwell, Investors should review Rockwell's
annual Form 20-F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission www.sec.com and the Company's home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
SOURCE Rockwell Diamonds Inc.
For further information:
For further information on Rockwell and its operations in South Africa, please contact
| James Campbell || || || || CEO || || || || +27 (0)83 457 3724 |
| Stéphanie Leclercq || || || || Investor Relations || || || || +27 (0)83 307 7587 |