Briggs looks to offload potential East Kimberley diamond holdings

COLOURFUL Perth businessman and vintage car buff Peter Briggs is seeking to offload exploration tenements in the East Kimberley near the Rio Tinto-controlled Argyle Diamonds operations.

Mr Briggs has placed a $250,000 price tag on two tenements E 80/2489 and E 80/2490, owned by unlisted public company South Norseman NL, in a bid to take advantage of renewed attention in the diamond company.

The interest follows the emergence of new players, led by the Kimberley Diamond Company and Elkedra diamonds NL.

Mr Briggs told WA Business News a number of inquires had come from the across the border from parties looking more closely at tenements with a view to purchasing them.

He said Argyle Diamond Pty Ltd previously owned the sites.

In 1987, Argyle’s exploration work uncovered a number of micro and macro diamonds, but the miner subsequently sold the tenements.

“There are a number of defined targets and further geological work needs to be carried out,” Mr Briggs said.

Despite strong indications of diamonds, Mr Briggs said he was not interested in developing the properties because: “we are not into diamonds, we are into gold”.

“We are not going to a diamond float situation. I think there are enough diamond floats out there,” he said.

“We want to focus our efforts on gold.”

Australian Securities and Investments Commission records list Mr Briggs and wife Robyn as directors of South Norseman, which changed its name from Percol NL in 1988.

The diamond play is virtually the first time Mr Briggs has been in the public eye since the New Zealand Securities Commission’s 1998 probe into fertiliser company Max Resources where Mr Briggs was a director.

His run ins with officaldom go back more than a decade before that and include a jail term for defrauding the Commonwealth.

In 1999 the Australian Taxation Office launched an action against a Briggs-directed investment company Interba Australasia Pty Ltd to recover almost $5 million in unpaid taxes.

Two years ago it also was reported that a syndicate including Peter Briggs and Fini Group managing director Adrian Fini had bought the management rights to Hillarys Harbour Resort from John and Karen Hay after their company Hay Constructions was placed under administration.

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