Debswana has launched a strategic plan to transform its Damtshaa mine into a world class ‘model’ mine. According to the company, the strategy is expected to contribute positively towards mining, communities around the mine and tourism, ensuring a sustainable future for the Boteti sub-district residents and Batswana at large.
The strategy is also expected to transform the mine into an operation that can be used within the mining house as a benchmark and possibly to inspire other diamond mines around the world. Damtshaa mine was commissioned in 2002. The mine ran uninterrupted until 2008 when it was put on care and maintenance on the back of the global due economic recession. Output was recommenced in 2011.
The mine is forecast to produce about 5 million carats (1,000 kg) of diamonds from 39 million tons of ore over the projected 31 years life of its lifespan. Launching the strategy last week, Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa mines acting general manager Bakani Motlhabane said the strategic plan seeks to position Damtshaa Mine as a model to exploit its strengths such as its unique and ideal position within Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines on the tourist route to Makgadikgadi, as well as its good product quality that is similar to that of Jwaneng mine, which is the world’s richest diamond mine.
He added that due to its small size, Damtshaa mine is ideally suited to showcase the best practices in diamond mining, such as safety, ore extraction, diamond recovery, asset management and diamond equity. He said that its compact footprint makes for a pleasant and non-overwhelming visitor experience.
“We are also positioning the mine as a centerpiece for piloting breakthrough innovations and technologies that could in the future benefit the rest of the organization if proved successful. The plan will also ensure that the mine weathers any disruptive forces in future through high efficiencies especially unit cost of mining and labour productivity. As such the plan is aligned and coherent with our company journey of high performance, as well as the OLDM vision to become a hub of Boteti region and gateway to Makgadikgadi”.
Motlhabane said they will also continue to engage their employees in decision making processes and further involve communities in their vicinity. Speaking at the same event, Boteti Sub District deputy district commissioner Loeto Porati commended Debswana for coming up with a strategy to transform Damtshaa mine into a model mine adding that such a move will place Debswana’s operation among the best in the world.
“What I love about the new Damtshaa Model mine is that it clearly indicates Debswana’s commitment to environmental conservation and confirms that indeed it is possible for mines, the environment and tourism to co-exist sustainably,” he said.
He urged the Community Trusts and Village Development Committees (VDC’s) in the vicinity of the mine to stand up and start engaging with Debswana on possible collaboration so that they can also benefit from such an endeavor. He also implored Damtshaa mine to embrace the community representatives, in line with the mines Corporate Social Investment (CSI) objectives.
“This transition will certainly contribute immensely in ensuring Boteti realises her full potential of becoming an economic hub where self reliance amongst our community will reign supreme,” Porati said.
In conclusion he urged the mine to make safety the utmost priority and embedding a culture of high standards and good house-keeping, so that it can achieve its objective of positioning Damtshaa mine as a benchmark diamond mine in terms of safety, efficiency and sustainability.