Debswana to Plow $6 Billion for Biggest Underground Diamond Mine – by Mbongeni Mguni (Bloomberg News – April 23, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Debswana Diamond Co. will spend 65 billion pula ($6 billion) to build the world’s largest underground diamond mine at Botswana’s Jwaneng, which is already the richest mine by value for the previous stones.

The underground mine will have more than 360 kilometers (224 miles) of tunnel development and will hit full production by 2034, Debswana’s head of transformation and innovation, Thabo Balopi, said at a briefing in the capital, Gaborone, on Friday.

The underground mine will have a capacity of as much as 9 million carats per year, extending Jwaneng’s lifespan by 20 years, according to Balopi. An early access decline will be in place by 2023, he said.

“We are still doing the studies toward transforming to an underground producer, which is a very different environment, with different capabilities and mindset,” he said.

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