Debswana looks beyond 2050 

SHARE   |   Sunday, 30 November 2014   |   By Kabelo Adamson
Bonyongo Bonyongo RICARDO KANONO

Debswana Diamond Company is undertaking business upgrades that will ensure the company continue to deliver the diamonds beyond the projected lifespan.

The company’ Managing Director, Balisi Bonyongo, said on Friday during Debswana Business Update to stakeholders that they have carried studies, which project the life span of diamond resources within the company leases up to 2050 and beyond.

He said they have been fears that Debswana will close shop by 2030. However, he said all their mines will continue to deliver millions of carats until 2050 and possibly beyond that period.

“We are gearing up for major projects that will ensure life after projects such as Cut 8 elapse we are looking at various aspects such as skills and our human resource,” Bonyongo said.

Bonyongo said Debswana has built flexibility on its projections of production and as such they have developed demand strategy to find out what the market wants. Debswana has adopted two models which will see it continuing to deliver value to shareholders by way of optimising business value, now and in the medium and long-term.

Bonyongo told the stakeholders that the two models which are - Horizon 1 and 2 - will ensure that profits of existing open pits is optimised as well as preparing for open pit extensions and expansions.

Being the worlds best producer of diamonds mainly through the Jwaneng Mine, Bonyongo said Debswana strives to fill the demand and supply gap and there is optimism. Through the Horizon 1, Debswana focuses on elevating profitability of the already existing open pits by increasing productivity and efficiency as well as producing to the demand of the market.

The other model known as Horizon 2 will gear for major capital projects, which include financial, skills and infrastructure as well as to understand geology, hydro geology and geo tech as the mines go deeper.

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The Letlhakane Tailings Plant will – under the Horizon 2 ideal - extend life of operations by another 20 years when open pit mining comes to an end in 2017 and the construction will commence in 2015.

Thereafter the mine is expected to produce 83 million tonnes in the tailing resource and estimated 21 million carats with an estimated 3.6 million tonnes to be processed per annum.

On the operational and business performance, Bonyongo said for the nine months to end of September, the company posted strong results with revenue increasing by 26 percent to reach P26.7 billion.

“Our total mining activity has been increasing due to higher volumes of waste stripping, particularly at Jwaneng Mine Cut 8,” he said.

The diamond mining giant is deploying more measures in the safety of the employees which is explained by the reduction in lost time injuries which decreased by 48 percent between 2013 and 2014.