Debswana- Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) have built a new gate at the mining town of Orapa as part of the mines’ efforts to maintain a safe working environment.
Dubbed “Orapa South Gate” the gate facility cost the diamond mining company P58 million.
Giving a brief overview of the project during the official opening of the facility last week Saturday the general manager of OLDM Mogakolodi Maoketsa revealed that construction of the project started in September 2020 and was completed in July 2022. He said the idea behind this construction is to provide a south bound access into Orapa Township and exit in an effort to ensure access to rehabilitate their re-commissioned slurry dams and make them safe. He also emphasized that the idea is also to remove people from the roads between the dams.
“To improve the structural stability of the dams, we need to close off Orapa East Gate to allow for unhindered rehabilitation to ensure the safety of our stakeholders hence the South East Project,” he said.
Maoketsa said at Debswana they put safety first as one of the company values. He said the new South Gate comprises of a control facility (security offices), a five kilometer South Gate Access tarred road, design and construction of the PV Solar Solution as well as construction of the South Gate Fence. In addition he said they constructed four kiosks which have been allocated to Boteti Sub District local businesses through competitive bidding.
“Two additional Kiosks are specifically earmarked for disadvantaged communities within our area of influence to sell their craft items. This is in line with our Building Forever Strategy whose aim is to create sustainable livelihoods as well as to enable equal access to opportunities for vulnerable members in our communities to make life brilliant,” he added.
Among other important issues he said in line with their innovation and digital transformation drive where they endeavor to leverage innovation and technology for improving business performance, the gate facility has been equipped with technology such as the use of wave scanners, License Plate Recognition (LPR) Cameras, IP Cameras and Electro Magnetic Sensors. Maoketsa emphasized that the technology will enable faster and more efficient movement of people and traffic.
For his part the Managing Director of Debswana Andrew Motsomi was happy that the facility is Solar Powered with a Net Zero carbon footprint.
“The facility is powered by solar, a 93 KW solar system with 234 solar panels mounted on the roof of the canopy and battery backup that gives up to 4 days power supply,” he said.
Motsomi said as the world’s leading diamond company, it is their responsibility as Debswana to protect the natural world. He said it is for that reason that Debswana continuously finds ways to deliver lasting solutions with the new South Gate being one of their significant projects. He also said Debswana has developed a bold technology led change and transformation strategy. He further said in line with the government vision 2036, Debswana sees the green economy making a bigger contribution to the country’s sustainable development now and in the future.
The project was constructed by 100 citizen-owned companies, namely Wragg Construction (Pty) Ltd, EH Construction, Grit Tech (Pty) Ltd and T-Value.