Diamond miner De Beers Group has entered into a mining service agreement with Redpath Australia and Redpath Mining South Africa, following a rigorous selection process with internationally recognised underground contract mining companies.
De Beers says the awarding of the contract to Redpath is an opportunity for it to lay the foundation for achieving its goal of self-performing all its future underground mining operations.
As part of the contract, Redpath will provide skilled specialist personnel, training systems and operational processes to train, upskill and guide the De Beers Group workforce at the Venetia mine, in South Africa, to achieve an international level of performance and capability in underground mechanised mining.
This will initially involve about 70 to 90 skilled specialist personnel from Redpath being brought in to bolster the performance of the mine in its operational execution.
Over the course of the four-year contract, Redpath’s personnel will decrease as skills are transferred to the De Beers employees.
"The next four years are critical for the Venetia diamond mine underground project in South Africa to achieve the key milestone of delivering its first ore production in 2022.
"To achieve this, the project will need to increase its development profile to 1 500 m a month, as well as increase ore production to a total of six-million tonnes yearly," De Beers noted.
It added that it was proud to partner with Redpath during this vital phase of the project.