Gaborone, Botswana — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 February 2009 – Debswana – the world’s biggest diamond producing company by value – is to shut down its operations temporarily, and is suspending production at two of its mines for the remainder of 2009.
Making the announcement here today, Debswana – a 50/50 joint venture between the government of Botswana and De Beers Group – said it would be shutting operations from 25 February to 14April this year. It added that after the shutdown, production at its Damtshaa mine and Orapa No. 2 plants would be suspended for the rest of the year, and said production would also be reduced at other operations.
“These actions are being taken to mitigate the effects of the global downturn by reducing production during 2009 to align with demand, conserving cash for the company, protecting employment and maintaining readiness for an eventual upturn in the market,” the company statement added.
Debswana said the suspension of production would impact 580 of its workers. It planned to re-deploy the employees within the company, along with offering staff voluntary early retirement and other incentive packages.
The company expressed the opinion that the medium and long-term fundamentals of the diamond industry were strong, and said it expected demand growth to continue in the long term.