27/06/2018 - 15:19

Former Kimberley Diamonds chair acquitted

27/06/2018 - 15:19

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A NSW District Court has acquitted former Kimberley Diamonds executive chairman Alex Alexander of charges related to the issuing of false or misleading information to the market.

Asic investigated Kimberley Diamonds in 2013.

A NSW District Court has acquitted former Kimberley Diamonds executive chairman Alex Alexander of charges related to the issuing of false or misleading information to the market.

Following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Mr Alexander was charged with four offences relating to false or misleading statements made by Kimberley Diamonds to the ASX between October 2013 and March 2014.

The court's decision came after a seven-week retrial of the same charges on which a jury had failed to reach a unanimous verdict at the conclusion of a four-week trial in April 2017.

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

ASX-listed Kimberley Diamonds was an Australia-based diamond exploration and mining company with assets in Australia, Botswana and Spain.

Its Ellendale diamond mine in Western Australia was the world’s leading source of rare yellow diamonds.

The diamonds mined at Ellendale were sold by Kimberley Diamonds to Laurelton Diamonds Inc, a subsidiary of Tiffany & Co.

Between March 2013 and May 2014, Kimberley Diamonds was in negotiations with Tiffany & Co that were aimed at increasing the price the miner would be paid for its diamonds.

On May 12 2014, the company announced to the market that price increase negotiations with Tiffany & Co had failed and, consequently, its earnings forecast for the last quarter of the 2014 financial year was revised down from $7.5 million to $1.5 million. The price of Kimberley Diamonds’ shares fell by 41.5 per cent following the announcement.

On July 1 2015 Kimberley Diamonds announced that Kimberley Diamonds Company Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kimberley Diamonds, and the owners of the Ellendale diamond mine, had been placed into voluntary administration.

On March 21 2017, Kimberley Diamonds was delisted from the ASX Official List and following the failure of its Botswana mining operation, on June 10 2017 an external administrator was appointed to the company.

The matter is listed for mention on Friday July 13 2018 to advise whether the matter will be proceeding to a further trial of the two charges on which the jury were unable to reach a decision.

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