Monday, May 17, 2021

Debswana terminates $1.7 billion Majwe Cut-9 contract

Debswana Diamond Company has terminated the multi-billion Pula Majwe Mining Cut 9 contract effective 4th January 2021.

The contract had run for 18 months since April 2019. The initial contract duration was nine years being from 2019-2027.

Australian company Thiess through Majwe Mining Joint Venture (Majwe) had secured the $1.7 billion contract at Debswana Diamond Company’s Jwaneng Mine Cut 9 project in Botswana.

Debswana Diamond Company Group Head of Corporate Affairs Rachel Mothibatsela said in a media statement issued Monday that in accordance with the “termination for convenience” requirements of the contract, a 90-day notice period shall run from the date of termination. She assured safety of workers throughout the transition period and beyond.

“Debswana and Majwe Mining will work together to ensure a smooth and efficient transition. Debswana is committed to ensuring that the mining operations are not adversely impacted by this transition,” said Mothibatsela.

She further stated the Cut 9 operation still requires labour in its execution and added that Debswana will manage and operate the Cut 9 project with some of the key services and resources, such as labour, being provided by contractors and service providers to Jwaneng Mine.

Mothibatsela said that the Cut 9 operation will transition to an owner-mining operation, with some of the key services and resources, such as labour, being provided by contractors or service providers to Jwaneng Mine. She said in this regard, Debswana remains committed to its Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy (CEEP).

“Debswana management and the board of directors would like to extend their gratitude to Majwe Mining for their contribution in Cut 8, Cut 8.3 and the start-up of Cut 9, since 2011,” she stated.

Majwe is a joint venture between Australian Mining company  Thiess (70 per cent) and long-term local partner Bothakga Burrow Botswana (30 per cent), which was expected to provide full scope mining services over nine years, including drill and on-bench services, mine planning, equipment maintenance, load and haul, and mining operations.

At the time of signing the contract, CIMIC Group chief executive officer Michael Wright at the time said: “This new contract strengthens Thiess’ presence in Botswana and builds on our operational and technical teams’ solid performance at Jwaneng since 2011.

“The relationship developed between Majwe and client Debswana Diamond Company, owned by the Botswana Government and De Beers, is a testament to all involved with the project.”

CIMIC Group Mining and Minerals Executive and Thiess managing director, Douglas Thompson, also at the time said: “I am pleased to be extending our long-term relationship with Debswana Diamond Company and Majwe, delivering scalable and innovative solutions that are tailored to our client’s production and expansion needs.

“This contract extends our compliance with Botswana’s Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy and to delivering sustainable mining,” he stated at the time.

Majwe mining would not comment on the termination of the contract referring The Telegraph to Debswana.

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