Gem Diamonds’ Ghaghoo kimberlite project in Botswana is nearing the end of its development race and will soon cross the finish line to change its status from developer to producer. This achievement, anticipated before the end of 2014, will mark a momentous occasion for the company, which has been working towards this milestone since early 2007, writes Laura Cornish.
Ghaghoo’s journey to date has been a long, winding and ‘evolutionary’ one which saw its development path change direction completely in 2008. The decision to develop a small start-up underground mine as opposed to a massive open pit operation will be considered a pivotal decision-making moment in the mine’s life when its gears are set into motion and the diamond production line kicks off.
“Our original plans for Ghaghoo’s development became unviable when the economic recession hit. But we were able to change our concept, adapt our design and plan for the mine and as a result were able to continue working towards bringing Gem Diamonds’ second operation into production,” says COO Alan Ashworth.