Debswana Investing $2B to Extend Life of Jwaneng Mine

Debswana Diamond Co., a 50/50 joint venture between the government of Botswana and De Beers Group, has initiated its Cut- 9 project to extend the life of the Jwaneng mine in Botswana to 2035. The project is expected to yield an estimated 53 million carats of rough diamonds from 44 million metric tons (mt) of treated material. Debswana will invest approximately $2 billion over the life of the Cut-9 project, underpinning the partnership’s commitment to the future of Botswana’s diamond industry. Debswana’s shareholders have approved the project’s budget for 2019, and the next phase of work has begun.

At its peak, the Cut-9 project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, the majority of which will be held by Botswana citizens. A local contract has been awarded to Majwe Mining, a joint venture between Bothakga Burrow Botswana and Thiess Botswana, to provide mining services. The value of the contract is $1.2 billion. Work covered includes drill and on-bench services, mine planning, equipment maintenance, load and haul, and mining operations. “The extension of Jwaneng mine secures Botswana’s rightful place as a leading diamond-producing nation for years to come,” Debswana Chairman Bruce Cleaver said. “With global consumer demand for diamonds reaching record levels in 2018, the extension will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our consumers all over the world.

“We are deeply proud of the central role Jwaneng mine has played in Botswana’s remarkable development story and of the role this investment will play in its future.” Additional programs accompanying the new investment include establishing an apprentice and artisan training center and a component-rebuild center, which is expected to mature into a self-sustaining business within three years from the launch of the project. Jwaneng is one of the world’s most valuable diamond mines as measured by dollar value per carat recovered.

As featured in Womp 2019 Vol 04 -