Feasibility studies for the Jwaneng Underground project are ongoing and progressing well, sources within Debswana have revealed.
The Jwaneng underground project will be one of the largest mine expansion projects ever undertaken on earth with a massive capital injection of over P65 billion, Debswana Executive said in April this year.
Jwaneng, already the world richest Mine by value, will be the biggest underground diamond Mine on earth.
In a stakeholder engagement addressed by the company top brass, Acting Managing Director Lynette Armstrong confirmed that studies were underway to secure the future of Jwaneng beyond the current Cut 9 Project.
Cut 9 is expected to deliver unparalleled gem glory for the World ‘s most valuable Mine up to 2035.
The Jwaneng Projects team revealed in a media briefing that followed the stakeholder engagement session that the estimated cost for the underground project would be around P65 billion.
“We are still working on preliminary studies to scope, determine and define a number of project specifications but we are looking at an estimated cost of around P65 billion”.
The new mine section will involve the development of more underground tunnels. Full production from the underground mining is expected by 2034,with an annual production capacity of about nine million carats (Mct),the underground mine is expected to extend the lifespan of Jwaneng by 20 years.
Currently Debswana ‘sister operation De Beers Venetia Mine in Limpopo South Africa is transitioning from open pit to underground , in a project that cost over $2 Billion, approximately 30 Billion South African rands or just over P22 billion in Botswana currency.
The current Jwaneng Cut 9 project cost Debswana just over P14 billion while the Cut 8 Project cost around P28 billion.
Cut 8 which was successfully delivered by Fluor Corporation was completed in 2012. It was at that time the largest single investment ever made in the history of diamond mining.
Still in inthe April briefing Debswana Exco revealed that various options would be explored to fund these multi billion pula projects.
“Debt financing is another possible avenue that has been discussed , if we take that route it will go through all our governance structures before approval” Lynette Armstrong, Debswana Acting Managing Director said.