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Black Rock and Altus Resource Capital join African Diamonds' significant shareholders

African Diamonds (AIM: AFD) informed investors that it has received notification on 9 April 2010 that Black Rock has joined the company’s significant shareholders' list with 4.07% of the company’s issued share capital.

Black Rock has an indirect interest in 4,088,600 shares.

The company also noted that separately, it was also notifiedon the same day that the Royal Bank of Scotland - as Trustee of the Black Rock Gold & General Fund - has a direct interest in 3,998,600 shares in African Diamonds, following the recent placing. This holding represents 3.98% of the company's issued share capital.

Also as a result of the placing, on  9 April, the closed-end investment company Altus Resource Capital Ltd notified African Diamonds that it is interested in 5,000,000 shares, representing 4.98% of the issued ordinary share capital.

Last week, African Diamonds raised approximately £9.6m through the placing of 24.1m shares at 40p each. The company intends to use the proceeds to increase its stake in the flagship AK6 discovery in Botswana, fund some of the development of AK6 and for general working capital and exploration.

African Diamonds obtained the right to increase its stake in AK6 through an agreement with its joint venture partner, Lucara Diamond Corp (TSX-V: LUC). The Toronto listed company joined the JV in November when it acquired De Beers' c.70% shareholding.  African Diamonds intends to exercise its option for £5 million and increase its interest from 29% to 40%.

In March, Lucara submitted a revised resource estimate for the AK6, reporting 51m tonnes at an average grade of 22 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) - 11.2 million carats - and a further inferred resource of 20 million tonnes at 19 cpht.  Notably, the average modelled diamond value jumped from US$151 per carat to US$194 per carat in Lucara’s resource statement, giving an in situ value of the indicated resource of US$2.2 billion.

The update was conducted as part of an ongoing feasibility study being completed by Lucara on AK6 which is expected to be completed in May 2010.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company