Rockwell announces board and management changes

VANCOUVER, Sept. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Rockwell Diamonds Inc. ("Rockwell" or the "Company") (TSX:RDI; JSE:RDI) announces that James Campbell, the Chief Executive Officer, has tendered his resignation and in an unrelated development, that Stephen Dietrich and Rick Menell have also tendered their resignations as directors.

The board undertook a strategic review on August 28, 2016, by means of a special board committee. The goal was to evaluate the positioning of Rockwell in the diamond mining space, as well as the effectiveness of defined strategies that were implemented over the past period by the company. This review included the performance of its Remhoogte acquisition, which has been below plan, and the construction of the new Wouterspan plant that is behind schedule with a higher cost. Notwithstanding this, the first phase of the wet plant at Wouterspan, being the first two of four circuits, is substantially complete and diamond grades are in line with expectations.

The board also carried out a management review following the recent exit of two senior managers. The board determined that further intervention on operations and plant completion was necessary, while new opportunities are being assessed.

James Campbell has tendered his resignation and agreed on a structured handover before leaving at the end of November 2016 as per his employment contract. He will also remain a director of the Company, working closely with the board and the newly appointed Executive Officer Tjaart Willemse. Tjaart will assume chief executive authority for day to day operations and plant completion, reporting to the Chairman of the board. 

Tjaart is a mining engineer by profession with 25 years of senior operational, production and executive management experience, particularly in operating plants in the diamond industry with De Beers in South Africa. Tjaart will also work with the board to continue the review of the company's management structures and operating plans going forward.

As part of this review, the board structure will also change to accommodate the resignation of two non-executive directors: Stephen Dietrich for personal health reasons and Rick Menell for reasons relating to his already demanding schedule. They will be replaced by the appointment of Richard Mhlontlo who will represent Rockwell's Black Economic Empowerment ('BEE') shareholder. Richard was previously the Group Human Resource and Industrial Relations Manager for Rockwell.

The board wishes to thank Rick and Stephen for their valuable contributions whilst they were on the board and welcomes Richard and looks forward to his contribution from a broader stakeholder management perspective.

About Rockwell Diamonds:

Rockwell is engaged in the business of operating and developing alluvial diamond deposits. The Company also evaluates consolidation opportunities that have the potential to expand its mineral resources and production profile and provide accretive value to the Company.

Rockwell is known for producing large, high quality gemstones comprising a major portion of its diamond recoveries. This is enhanced through a beneficiation joint venture that enables Rockwell to participate in the profits on the sale of the polished and certain re-traded diamonds, which are not beneficiated.

Rockwell has set a strategic goal to become a mid-tier diamond production company. In pursuit of this goal the Company has embarked on a strategy to grow its Middle Orange River (MOR) operational base and minimise production and recovery volatility by setting a medium term target to process 500,000m3 of gravels per month from its MOR operations.

Rockwell's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the JSE Limited under the symbol "RDI".

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 the transaction and the ability of each party to satisfy the conditions precedent in a timely manner or at all, 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 as 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 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; David Tosi, PSG Capital - JSE Sponsor, +27 (0)21 887 9602

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www.rockwelldiamonds.com

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