Saturday, December 15, 2018
John Teeling

John Teeling

Botswana Diamonds

JOHN Teeling went down a treat at the 2017 Junior Mining Indaba in Johannesburg when he spelt out the hard facts of investing in junior mining ventures. Essentially, he encouraged investors to go on the proverbial trip to hell with him, but in such a way that they were looking forward to the journey – thanks to his Irish gift of the gab. This was despite his bottom-line message that investors were likely to “... lose your money most of the time”, and become members of the “99 club” – in other words, investors whose shares have dropped in value by 99% since they bought them. Unlike many of his competitors – who prefer to sweep their failed ventures under the carpet – Teeling positively boasts when citing the number of times he got it wrong – Zimbabwe in particular. Right now he’s back on the ground in Botswana, where he has had his greatest success: African Diamonds. He is also back in harness with James Campbell who was previously MD of Teeling’s African Diamonds and Rockwell Diamonds. Botswana Diamonds has a joint venture going with Russian diamond giant, Alrosa, as well as its own exploration ventures. The sixty-four-thousand-dollar question, though, is whether the two men will be able to do it again.


The term serial entrepreneur is one that is much bandied about in the junior mining space, but it’s totally applicable to Teeling. He has had three “hits” in 46 years of exploration work, of which the biggest was the former African Diamonds – now owned by Lucara Diamond Corporation. Other AIM-listed companies that he founded include Pan Andean Resources, Minco, African Gold, Persian Gold, West African Diamonds and Kenmare Resources. Teeling is no slouch in the academic field either, holding degrees in economics and business from University College Dublin; an MBA from Wharton, and a doctorate in business administration from Harvard University.