Trucks carrying ore from the Orapa pit to the processing plant

Orapa, which means "the resting place of lions" in Setswana, is our oldest operating mine in Botswana and the largest open pit diamond mine in the world. Orapa is an important contributor to our total production, and is second only to Jwaneng in volume.

Located in central Botswana, about 240 km west of Francistown, Orapa’s kimberlite covers an area of 118 square kilometres at the surface. The unusually wide resource, the world's second largest diamond-producing kimberlite pipe, is actually made up of two separate pipes (or intrusions) that coalesced near the surface about 93 million years ago.

Orapa at night Orapa at night


  • 1967 - Promising geology leads our exploration team to the area. Following detailed exploration we find diamonds.
  • 1971 - In July, production begins and diamonds begin to play a larger role in Botswana's economy.
  • 1990s - A multi-storey, state-of-the art Completely Automated Recovery Plant (CARP) rises at Orapa to handle its own concentrate as well as concentrate from  Letlhakane and Damtshaa mines.
  • 2006 -  A record (at the time) 17.3m carats are recovered.

In the Orapa Game Park, within our lease area, we maintain 22,000 hectares for recreation, education, conservation and the promotion of biodiversity.

Trucks carrying ore from Orapa pit to the processing plant A view of Orapa Processing Plant