The Debswana Diamond Company (Debswana), a 50/50 joint venture between the government of Botswana and De Beers Group, announced the commencement of the Cut-9 project to extend the life of the Jwaneng Mine. The project will extend the life of Jwaneng Mine to 2035, and is expected to yield an estimated 53 million carats of rough diamonds from 44 million tonnes of treated material.
Debswana will invest approximately $2 billion over the life of the project underpinning the partnership’s commitment to the future of Botswana’s diamond industry. The shareholders of Debswana have approved the budget for 2019 so that the next phase of work can commence.
At its peak, Cut-9 is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, the majority of which will be held by Batswana citizens. A local $1.2 billion contract has also been awarded by Debswana to Majwe Mining, a joint venture between Bothakga Burrow Botswana and Thiess Botswana, to provide diamond mining services.
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver, who is also the Debswana Chairman, said, “The extension of the Jwaneng mine secures Botswana’s rightful place as a leading diamond producing nation for years to come. With global consumer demand for diamonds reaching record levels in 2018, the extension will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our consumers all over the world. We are deeply proud of the central role the Jwaneng mine has played in Botswana’s remarkable development story and of the role this investment will play in its future.”
Debswana is a significant contributor to Botswana’s economy with more than 80 per cent of its profits being returned to the country. The Jwaneng mine contributes approximately 70 per cent of Debswana’s total revenue. Diamonds from Debswana, in turn contribute approximately 50 per cent of public revenue, 33 per cent of GDP, and over 80 per cent of foreign earnings to Botswana.