Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Debswana MD applauds company’s safety culture

Debswana Diamond Company says its safety performance has been exceptional with all the mines being ISO 14001 certified as well as recording strong operational and business performance in 2014.

Engaging the different stakeholders on Friday Debswana Managing Director Balisi Bonyongo said that the company’s long term projections reveal a potential economic life of mine resource profile up to 2050 for the diamond resources within the leases. Bonyongo added that in 2014, the first year under horizon 1, has been highly successful, with Debswana making a step change in performance across all fronts of the business.

“Our pursuit of zero harm has been underpinned by exceptionally strong safety performance which is now comparable to the best in the world,” said Bonyongo.

She further said that Debswana’s total mining activity has been increasing due to higher volumes of waste stripping, particularly at Jwaneng Mine Cut 8 adding that they take seriously their responsibility to manage and minimise the impact of their operations on the environment.

Bonyongo stated that optimism is returning to the largest diamond market with the US unemployment rate declining and consumer confidence rising steadily. He highlighted that in India macro-economic conditions may soon become more supportive of more robust diamond jewellery sales growth with inflation falling and Rupee trading steady.

“To continue to deliver value to our shareholders we must exploit our resources in a manner that optimises business value, now and in the medium and long term,” said Bonyongo.

Regarding the development of Horizon 1, Bonyongo said the company optimises profitability of existing open pits as well as productivity and efficiency adding that they are producing to demand. On Horizon 2, he said that the company is preparing for open pit extensions and expansions adding that they are geared up for major capital projects including financial, skills and infrastructure.

He highlighted that Post 2008, diamond production has remained flat at 22 ÔÇô 23 million carats, in line with market demand. Bonyongo attributed strong growth in revenue due to operational efficiencies, favourable exchange rate and price growth.

“We are beginning to gear our business to unlock the full potential of the resources on our leases,” he stated.

He is of the view that in the next five years Debswana envisages to undertake major diamond production projects at Jwaneng and Orapa to unlock the full potential under Horizon 2. He added that the construction and commissioning of the Jwaneng Modular Plant are complete with the first carats recovered in November 2014.

He revealed that the Letlhakane Tailings Plant will extend life of operations by another 20 years when open pit mining comes to an end in 2017 adding that through Investment in human capital development Debswana has made a lasting contribution to sustainable development in Botswana.

We are committed to strong partnerships with our communities as well as being world class diamond assets with long life reserves. Debswana has strong global rough diamond supply and demand fundamentals,” he said.


Read this week's paper