Debswana Diamond Company says its Damtshaa site of the Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines’ (OLDM) care and maintenance programme is proceeding according to plan in terms of assets and readiness for the market upturn.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, the newly appointed OLDM General Manager Bakani Motlhabani said the closure of Damtshaa was part of the overall company’s response to prevailing market uncertainties and volatility throughout the entire diamond industry.
Motlhabani added that in consultation with all affected stakeholders, including the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU), Damtshaa Mine employees were retained to be ready for potential market recovery.
“I take over at a time when the operation is performing well, and having been part of it. As such my task is to sustain and improve our performance. Safety is always at the top of everything we do in Debswana,” said Motlhabani.
He is of the view that he wants to continue the drive to sustain and improve the safety performance and push it towards global benchmark levels. He stated that also important is to sustain and improve employee engagement and relations, asset performance, cost performance and social performance.
“We need to drive plans such as our corporate social investment and socio-economic development in the Boteti region. Key will also be positioning our OLDM operation to continue operating sustainably into the future to support the country’s economic growth,” said Motlhabani.
Quizzed on the expectations from various stakeholders and employees, Motlhabani stated that as a company, they had in place internal communications channels for dealing with stakeholders, which are working well and that they continue to nurture these.
He added that they had equally important external and close stakeholder relationships that are an integral part of their business including BMWU, the communities and business partners.
He further noted that he was tasked with providing leadership and to coordinate different functions through setting performance standards and managing day to day performance of the OLDM operation.
He added that he was also setting strategic direction and also showing direction and getting teams aligned on what is priority and focus.
Meanwhile, a look into Anglo American plc production report for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016 shows that Setswana’s production increased by 15 percent to 5.4 million carats.
At Jwaneng, production increased 40 percent, partly offset by Orapa, which decreased by 6 percent, and that Damtshaa, a satellite operation of Orapa, is still placed on care and maintenance from January 1, 2016.
De Beers stated that its rough diamond production increased by 10 percent to 7.8 million carats compared with Q4 2015 when production was reduced in response to trading conditions.