Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers and Botswana, is seeking permission to deepen the Jwaneng mine to 830 meters (2,700 feet), a move that will extend the mine’s life by 11 years, to 2035.
Bloomberg quoted the diamond company as saying in a notice published in local newspapers that the Cut 9 project would see an additional 50 million carats being mined at Jwaneng.
Jwaneng Diamond Mine Image credit: Google Earth
“Cut 9 will involve stripping away waste at the bottom of the mine, both widening and deepening the pit,” the business news agency reports.
“The previous extension project, Cut 8, cost about $3-billion and reached gem-bearing ore in 2016, seven years after work started.”
Debswana spokesperson Matshidiso Kamona said the project would likely be financed internally.
The company said it had received provisional approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs, pending public review of its environmental-management plan.
Jwaneng, which started full operations in 1982, was the world’s largest diamond producer by value and currently 650 meters deep, according to Bloomberg.