World’s Most Valuable Diamond Mine Set to Get Even Bigger – by Mbongeni Mguni (Bloomberg News – April 5, 2018)

The world’s most valuable diamond mine is set to get even bigger. Debswana, the joint venture between Anglo American Plc’s De Beers unit and Botswana’s government, is seeking permission to deepen the Jwaneng mine to 830 meters (2,700 feet), according to a notice published in local newspapers Thursday.

The Cut 9 project will extend the mine’s life by 11 years, to 2035, and allow the extraction of a further 50 million carats.

Jwaneng, which started full operations in 1982, is the world’s largest diamond producer by value and currently 650 meters deep. Cut 9 will involve stripping away waste at the bottom of the mine, both widening and deepening the pit.

The previous extension project, Cut 8, cost about $3 billion and reached gem-bearing ore in 2016, seven years after work started.The project will probably be financed internally, said Debswana spokeswoman Matshidiso Kamona.

She declined to comment on the expected costs or schedule. Debswana has received provisional approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs, pending public review of its environmental-management plan, the notice says.

For the rest of this article: