Debswana to extend lifespan of Botswana diamond mine

5th December 2016 By: African News Agency

GABORONE – Botswana diamond miner Debswana has reported significant progress in the implementation of the Lethlakane mine tailings resource treatment project (LMTRTP).

In a statement issued on Friday, Debswana corporate affairs manager Matshidiso Kamona said the tailing treatment project was 80%complete. The project, which is expected to extend the lifespan of the mine by 25 years, would be commissioned late in 2017.

“The LMTRTP is currently at 80% of overall completion, while structural and electrical installations remain on course. The project is expected to be commissioned during the third quarter of 2017,” Kamona said.

In mid-November, Debswana ceased all opencast mining operations at Lethlakane saying the mine had reached the end of its economic lifespan. Kamona said the LMTRTP is aimed at ensuring the recovery of diamonds from the Lethlakane coarse tailing mineral resource.

Debswana has also engaged experts to examine the possibility of extending the lifespans of its Damtshaa and Orapa mines beyond their projected exhaustion date of 2050.

The Damtshaa mine, which was placed on ‘care and maintenance’ mode in January this year, would open as soon as diamond prices recover on the international commodity markets.