Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Debswana mines operational despite power cuts

Debswana Diamond Company said currently its mines are experiencing intermittent voltage fluctuations and power dips particularly at the processing plants.
The company’s Group Public and Corporate Affairs Manager Esther Kanaimba-Senai told Sunday Standard that following a number of problems experienced at Morupule B and Eskom in South Africa, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) contacted Debswana mines requesting that they adhere to a tight maximum draw down.
She said the mines have responded by limiting certain operations and switching off, non-essential loads.
“We also have a load shedding protocol in place which is strictly adhered to in instances of power shortage. Fortunately, this hasn’t had any major impact on production,” she revealed.
She also stated that all Debswana plants are currently operational, adding that but should the situation necessitates, core operations can be systematically turned off.
She emphasised that if the problem persists, it will inevitably impact production, but the limits currently requested are such as to allow us to operate all plants and mines carefully and under steady conditions to avoid any demand spikes.
Kanaimba-Senai added that they are hopeful that together they can minimize the impact on production.
“As part of our focus on the safety, Debswana has developed and implemented a programme for employees to proactively identify and correct hazardous incidents in their working environment and report these to their supervisors who ensure corrective action has been taken,” she said.
She also explained that through the Near Hit Reporting programme, Debswana employees are able to eliminate hazardous incidents and their recurrence.
She added that Debswana also has clearly laid out protocols on the safe handling of all their equipment including electrical machinery.
“We continue to focus on the safety of our employees and our environment even during the current power crisis,” said Kanaimba-Senai.
However, recently the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila’s 2014 budget proposal indicated that Debswana mine’s produced some 22.7 million carats in 2013 compared to 20.2 million carats in 2012. He pointed out that during the period Debswana sold 22.0 million carats, compared to 20.3 million carats in 2012. The revenue from the sales was P27.45 billion, representing a 3 percent increase over 2012.
A close look into other mines performance, Boteti Mining (Pty) Limited’s Karowe which has been in production since October 2012 and production during the last quarter of 2012 was 155,000. During 2013, the mine produced some 441,000 carats against the budgeted 440,000 carats and sold 439, 000 carats against a budget of 440, 000 carats. The revenue from these sales was P1.53 billion.
Gope Exloration (Pty) Limited is said to at an advance stage of completing the development of Ghaghoo Diamond mine. The box cut excavation is also said to be completed and the development of the access tunnel to underground workings is said to be on-going. The Ghaghoo Diamond Mine will be commissioned during the first half of 2014 and it is anticipated to be officially opened before end of 2014.


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