De Beers is investing in the future with a series of multi-million dollar major projects designed to boost diamond production and benefit the communities in the areas where we operate. Here is a glimpse of the projects now under way, which are set to begin operations in the next few years.
A new tailings plant is due to start production in the second half of 2017 at Debswana’s Letlhakane mine in Botswana. It means the life of the mine, after open pit mining reached the end of its life, will be extended by an estimated 25 years.
Find out more about the Letlhakane Tailings Project
Work is well under way on extending the life of Jwaneng, one of the world’s richest diamond mines by value, making a major contribution to the finances of Botswana, a country whose economic and social progress has been built largely on diamonds. Diamond revenues are now being used to diversify the economy in time for a likely decline in global diamond supply.
When an open-pit mine moves towards the end of its life, it is sometimes possible to lengthen its life by digging deep and converting it into an underground mine. That is what is happening at the Venetia Mine, South Africa’s largest producer of diamonds. A tunnel and vertical shafts are being dug, a huge construction project that is creating work for a large number of local people.
Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, was opened on 20 September 2016. It is an open-pit mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, comprising three pits and covering 1,200 hectares, built as a joint venture with Mountain Province Diamonds. De Beers Group’s stake is 51 per cent and its share of the investment is about US$500 million. It will support around 1,200 jobs annually.
It’s a vessel that will be plying its trade off the Atlantic coast of Namibia, sampling diamonds that have found their way down the Orange River over thousands of years. The mv SS Nujoma, strengthening the Debmarine Namibia fleet of vessels, is a pioneer in marine diamond sampling and exploration. It was fitted out in Norway and inaugurated in Walvis Bay, Namibia, and set sail in 2017.