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  • Alexkor and the Richtersveld Land Claim – A retrospective diamond mineral property valuation case study

Alexkor and the Richtersveld Land Claim – A retrospective diamond mineral property valuation case study

  • 13 May 2014
  • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • OBA Conference Centre (now renamed “Twenty Toronto Street”), Conference Room C&D, Suite 200, 20 Toronto Street in Toronto
  • 12


  • Attendance is free is for TGDG members. Please register as a TGDG member online prior to registering for this event.

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The South African Constitutional Court in 2003 ruled in favour of the Richtersveld Community’s rights to land and mineral ownership.  The court order required the return of land stolen and payment for diamonds removed. These damages provided remedy for past racially discriminatory laws.

The land in question is situated in the northwest of Namaqualand in South Africa and has been a spectacular source of gem diamonds since their discovery along the coast to the south of the Orange River mouth in 1926 and 1927.  Some 9.9Mct of diamond have been recovered privately and through State diamond mining.

To determine the quantum of their claim, the community constructed a “throw-the-diamonds-back-into-the-ground” model, and re-mined them with a “synthetic mine” using modern capital and operating costs.  Many fatal flaws to this estimation were exposed during court proceedings.

The State contended, to the contrary, that compensation for minerals removed required a balance between the value at the date of dispossession and the value returned by restoration, or payment, consequent to the present day court order.

Dispossession was a consequence of the law and racial discrimination.  Alluvial diggings for precious stones were proclaimed in March 1928, June 1963 and December 1978, and the community was deprived of the right to stake “owner’s claims”.

The value of the notional claims is estimated through review of comparable transactions and the application of the Yardstick Method to diamond resources.  In this analysis the valuation dates were the dates of dispossession, and only information available on those dates has been used, while the report date was April 2005.


Before graduation as a geologist from Leeds University in 1972, Norman had worked for nearly 2 years at the developing mining camp at Orapa, Botswana.  After graduation Norman joined De Beers Prospecting Botswana for kimberlite exploration in the southern Kalahari desert including drilling the discovery hole at what is now Jwaneng Mine, the world’s richest diamond deposit.  In 1973 Norman moved to Lesotho during the De Beers option and pre-development period of the Letseng mine, famous for very large, high quality diamonds.

From 1977, Norman conducted research on the Letseng-la-Terae kimberlites under the supervision of Professor Barry Dawson at St Andrews and Sheffield Universities.  After the award of his PhD degree, Norman joined the Botswana Geological Survey for a period of 10 years, progressing to Assistant Director responsible for Economic Geology.

From 1990, Norman was MD of Kalahari Exploration in Botswana, and then Director of Botswana Diamondfields Inc., the Canadian parent to southern Africa diamond operations.  Since 1999, when Botswana Diamondfields merged with Crew Gold and discontinued its diamond activities, Norman was a self-employed consultant.

In April 2001 he joined Resource Service Group as an Associate, then RSG Global as a Principal Consultant - Diamonds, and thereafter with the MSA Group in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Coffey (the successor to RSG Global in South Africa) approached Norman in 2009 to move to Canada as Manager for operations in a new office in Toronto.  Norman has prepared and contributed to numerous technical reports compliant with the JORC, SAMREC and CIM Definition Standards.  During 2005/2006 in South Africa he was secretary to the diamond group for the review of the SAMREC code.

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