Gaborone, Botswana — MININGREVIEW.COM — 25 November 2009 – Debswana Diamond Mining Company “’ the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value “’ plans to extend the closure of its Damtshaa mine in Botswana to the end of 2010 because of uncertainty in the market.
The company “’ a joint venture between the government of Botswana and diamond mining giant De Beers “’ shut down some of its operations and reduced production at others in February, due to reduced demand linked to the global economic downturn. In April it resumed production at three of its four mines in the southern African country, but said Damtshaa would remain closed for the rest of the year.
Now Debswana managing director Blackie Marole said the company’s board had approved a proposal to extend the closure to the end of next year, and would approach the minerals, energy and water resources minister for approval.
“The closure is based on the fact that what we currently produce from other mines is far more than market demand,” Marole said. “The board felt that we should save millions by keeping the mine closed until the end of 2010, but ramp up production at other mines which are cheaper to run than Damtshaa,” he explained.
Meanwhile De Beers has announced that Debswana is to invest US$500 million (R3.75 billion) in capital expenditure to expand its Jwaneng diamond mine, and that this will keep the mine profitable until at least 2025.
The company added that it expected the expansion to help access a further 95 million carats, worth in excess of US$15 billion (R112.5 billion) over the life of the mine.