Sunday, September 27, 2020

Deaths at mines get De Beers worried

The De Beers Group of Companies says it has renewed and doubled safety measures in its mines after the company has lost two employees in the first half of 2018.

The fatal incidents this year happened in Jwaneng mine in Botswana and another one in South Africa at Venetia mine.

De Beers Executive Vice-President, Commercial and Partnerships, Alessandra Berridge admitted that the number is high adding that a lot need to be done to improve the mines safety.

“Zero harm is a priority and it is a possible in our operations. This is regrettable as it affected production,” said Berridge.

Following the death of the miner, De Beers’s production is said to have declined by 16 percent to 2.1 million carats (H1 2017: 2.5 million carats) in South Africa. The below par production was due to a period of suspension in production at Venetia mine following a fatal incident, as well as geotechnical issues at Voorspoed restricting access to the resource.

Meanwhile construction continued on the Venetia Underground Project, which is expected to become the mine’s principal source of production from 2023.

In Botswana, Debswana’s Cut-8 has now become the main source of ore for Jwaneng and is expected to run up to 2030. The project is expected to produce approximately 92 million carats.

“The Letlhakane tailings treatment plant has been commissioned and ramp up has been achieved, with the plant now running at full capacity. It will extend the life of Letlhakane by another 20 years to 2043”, said De Beers Executive Vice-President, Diamond Trading, Paul Rowley.

Rowley further said that De Beers’s full year 2018 production forecast remains unchanged at 34 – 36 million carats, subject to trading conditions.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.