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De Beers, Botswana awards $1.2bn expansion contract of world’s richest diamond mine to Thiess

De Beers announces $2bn investment to expand life of world's richest diamond mine in Botswana

The Debswana Diamond Company, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers Group, has announced a project to extend the life of Jwaneng Mine, one of the world’s most valuable diamond mines. 

At its peak, the Cut-9 project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, the majority for Botswana citizens. A $1.2bn contract has been awarded by Debswana to Majwe Mining, a joint venture between Bothakga Burrow Botswana and Thiess Botswana, to provide diamond mining services. 

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 $2bn over the life of the project underpinning the partnership’s commitment to the future of Botswana’s diamond industry. 

Bruce Cleaver, Chairman of Debswana, commented: “The extension of 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 Jwaneng Mine has played in Botswana’s remarkable development story and of the role this investment will play in its future.”

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Debswana Managing Director, Albert Milton said: “As we have throughout the history of Jwaneng Mine we remain steadfast in ensuring that all projects are delivered safely and to the benefit of the people of Botswana. We are also committed to delivering on the citizen economic empowerment (CEEP) goals and will focus on training our people, developing their skills and harnessing technology to create further safety and efficiency improvements.”

Debswana Diamond Company was established in 1969, and it is owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers Group. It is one of the world’s leading diamond producers by value and volume. Debswana operates four diamond mines in Orapa, Letlhakane, Damtshaa and Jwaneng. Debswana is a major contributor to the national economy of Botswana – contributing significantly to the gross domestic product, foreign exchange earnings and government revenue. It is one of the largest private sector employers, with over 5200 employees. Debswana is also the biggest contributor to the De Beers Group rough diamond production.