De Beers and government of Botswana’s joint venture company – Debswana diamond mining company has said that it has resumed production at its Damtshaa Mine near Letlhakane.
As a result, the company has since redeployed atleast 250 employees back to the mine where they were transferred from during the mine’s temporary closure some three years back.
In responding to the market down turn in 2015, Debswana took a decision to optimise revenue and distributions by maximising production at core assets, scaling down production at lower value and lower margin assets.
As a result, the company then placed the Damtshaa mine on care and maintenance because of weak demand for diamonds. During the temporary shutdown, Orapa Mine plant 1 was run at a reduced production level of approximately one million carats per year in order to maintain plant readiness to ramp up production.
In 2014, Damtshaa extracted 3,800,849 tonnes of ore, treated 1,464,100 tonnes and recovered 303,219 carats.
The mine was officially opened on October 25th, 2003 by former President Ian Khama.
Not too far from Damtshaa mine, the Letlhakane open-pit operations has since ceased with expectation that the tailings plant which has been commissioned will extend the life of the operation by 20 years. The plant was commissioned in third quarter of 2017 and expected to reach production capacity second quarter in 2018.
Meanwhile Debswana said last week that its diamond production increased by 11 percent in 2017. The company’s breakdown shows that Orapa Mine’s contribution increased by 28 percent, Letlhakane two percent while Jwaneng is slightly below by 1 percent.
Managing Director Balisi Bonyongo said recently that Cut 8 project has since become Jwaneng Mine’s main source of ore.
At the same time, Bonyongo says the Jwaneng mine is currently carrying a feasibility study to determine the size of a new project ÔÇô Cut 9.