Daily podcast – November 25, 2009

25th November 2009 By: Joanne Delaurentis

This podcast is brought to you by Ukwazi Mining - Bringing relevant mining, engineering & strategic consultancy services to a dynamic industry.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009.

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon de Ryhove.

Making headlines today:

Botswana's diamond producer Debswana plans to extend the closure of its Damtshaa mine to the end of 2010, owing to uncertainty in the market.

Debswana said in February that it was shutting some of its operations and reducing production at others owing to reduced demand linked to a global economic downturn.

In April, the firm said it was resuming production at three of its four mines in the southern African country, but that the smallest, Damtshaa, would remain closed for the rest of the year.

This week, Debswana's managing director Blackie Marole said the company's board had approved a proposal to extend the closure to the end of next year and would approach the minerals, energy and water resources minister for approval.

Meanwhile, diamond giant De Beers and the government of Botswana expect to spend as much as 3-billion-dollars over the next 15 years to extend the life of the Jwaneng diamond mine.

 De Beers says that the expansion, dubbed Cut-8, will be the largest ever single capital commitment in the private sector in Botswana.

The project will extend the life of the Jwaneng mine by seven years, to at least 2025.

Debswana will invest 500-million-dollars in capital expenditure, but, after taking into account all the project stages, including feasibility, design, implementation and mining operations, plus plans and equipment, the total project investment is likely to total 3-billion-dollars over the next 15 years.

Jwaneng is owned by Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers and the government of Botswana, and is the largest diamond mine in the world by production value.

Also making headlines:

Vancouver-based Western Coal Corp says that it's aware of a potential class action lawsuit against the company.
Platinum producer Aquarius Platinum completes a 250-million-dollar convertible bonds issue.
A worker dies at the NYSE-listed Walter Energy mine.
And, Rio Tinto will buy iron-ore from an Australian junior.

That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit miningweekly.com.