Debswana, the joint venture between the Botswana government and Anglo American’s De Beers unit, intends to expand its Jwaneng Mine extending its lifespan by eleven years, to 2035, to extract an additional 50 million carats.
Botswana is the world’s biggest diamond producer and Debswana says the Jwaneng Mine is the world’s richest diamond mine by value. The project, known as Cut 9, follows a US$3 billion expansion of the mine in 2010 to uncover 100 million carats of diamond and extend the life of the mine to 2024. If approved by Botswana environmental authorities, the project will deepen the mine to 855 metres from 650 metres, the company said in a regulatory environmental impact assessment notice.
Debswana’s managing director Balisi Bonyongo told Reuters that feasibility studies for Cut 9 will be completed before the end of the year which will inform the amount of funds required for the project.