The P2.1 billion (US$196 million) Letlhakane Mine Tailings Resource Treatment Project involves the building of a modular plant to recover diamonds from coarse tailings (leftover materials from diamond mining) through the use of new and improved recovery technologies.
Construction started in the first quarter of 2015 and commissioning began in the first half of 2017. Around 21 million carats, from approximately 83 million tonnes of material, are expected to be recovered over an estimated 25 years.*
More than 800 employees have been employed on the project, most of them Batswana. At least 25 contractor companies have also been engaged, many locally based.
Letlhakane, Debswana’s deepest mine, is an open-pit mine in Botswana’s Boteti Sub-district, 190km west of Francistown. It is Debswana’s second mine to be opened (in 1976) and has produced more than 31 million carats since then.
* See page 15 of the 2016 AA plc Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Report for more details.