Construction of Botswana-based diamond mining company Debswana’s Letlhakane mine tailings resource treatment plant project (LMTRTP), near Orapa, is currently 80% complete, with final project completion expected by 2017, writes Mining Weekly. The Letlhakane Mine is Debswana's second oldest mine, opened in 1975, achieving peak production of approximately 1.1 million carats annually; 583,207 carats were recovered from the mine in 2015. With the mine facing closure and job losses as the pit was drying up, the project was approved in 2014, with construction of the plant having started in the first quarter of 2015. It is anticipated that the project will extend the life-of-mine by 25 years. The LMTRTP is expected to achieve a yearly production of 800,000 carats of diamonds.
"The objective of the project," writes Mining Weekly, "is to deliver sustained and profitable operations at Letlhakane beyond the end-of-life of open-pit mining, according to Debswana." It will provide specifically designed mining and treatment solutions to ensure optimal economic recovery of the coarse tailings mineral resource. “The plant will undergo C5 commissioning and attain full production from the third quarter of 2017,” Debswana corporate affairs manager Naledi Dikgomo-Goulden told Mining Weekly. The mine is managed from the larger Orapa operation. Letlhakane means 'small reed'.