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.
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.
The largest new diamond mine under development anywhere in the world is Gahcho Kué, located in Canada's Northwest Territories, which was officially opened on 20 September. It is so cold there (temperatures regularly reach minus 40oC) that an ice road is built each winter to enable supplies to be delivered by road. Local businesses are well positioned to provide competitive goods and services to the mine, and the company is building on the strong northern business relationships already established in the region.
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, before being sailed to southern Africa ready for full operation in 2017.