Lucara Diamond Corp, the Canadian company which owns Karowe Mine is a mining company with a mining and exploration licenses in Botswana has attributed its recent success to the introduction of XRT circuit technology in 2015.
When briefing the media this week Lucara Botswana, Managing Director Naseem Lahri said since commissioning of the XRT circuit in 2015, a total of 12 diamonds in excess of 300 carats have been recovered at Karowe, including 2 greater than 1, 000 carats, from a total production of approximately 1. 4 million carats. Of the 12 +300 carat diamonds recovered, 50 percent were categorised as gem quality with 11 sold to date generating revenue in excess of US$158 million.
The mine is one of the world’s foremost producers of large, high quality, Type IIA diamonds in excess of 10. 8 carats according to their website. “We are the only mine in the world to recover two stones in excess of 1 000 carats. These are the largest stones in the world to be recovered through a processing plant. They have been recovered in Botswana. The largest was the Lesedi La Rona. We have broken our own record within the last 4 years,” said Lahri.
The reason for the media briefing was to announce the naming competition of the recent recovery of the 1 758 carats. According to Lahri this is one of the largest diamonds in recorded history, the largest diamond recovered in Botswana, and the largest diamond to be mined at Karowe to date. The unbroken 1,758 carat stone was recovered through Lucara's state of the art XRT circuit, commissioned in April 2015.
Weighing close to 352 grams and measuring 83 mm x 62 mm x 46 mm, the diamond has been characterized as near gem of variable quality, including domains of high-quality white gem. Further detailed analysis is ongoing. Lahri said the winner will receive; a P 30 000 cash prize, a trip to Karowe Mine to see and appreciate where the gem stones come from; as well as an invitation for 4 to a gala dinner to hand over the price money. This will allow the winner to invite close family Competition runs from the 5th June – 14th June.
The Managing Director also said as they mine and recover these diamonds they ensure that they mine safely and responsibly. “Lucara Botswana has achieved a two year LTI Free record. On the morning of the 18th May 2019 Karowe mine achieved two years LTI free. This is a great achieve for all Lucara employees and contractors.
These milestones lead us to the current achievement two years LTI free. The last LTI was on the 17th May 2017 which involved a fitter at XRT sustained an injury on his right thumb while adjusting the pump vee belts. This milestone was achieved through the management drive on safety and several safety initiatives that were put in place”, said Lahri.
The Karowe diamond mine, located in Botswana, is a state-of-the-art mine which was fully commissioned in Q2 2012. Karowe, which means precious stone in the local language, is one of world’s foremost producers of large, high quality, Type IIA diamonds in excess of 10. 8 carats, including the historic 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona (second largest gem diamond ever recovered) and the 813 carat Constellation (sold for a record US$63.1 million).
Since 2014, Lucara has paid out more than US$249 million (about P2.7 billion) in dividends, which well exceeds the total capital invested to build the mine. The Company has an experienced board and management team and operates transparently, in accordance with international best practices in the areas of sustainability, health, safety, environment and community relations. Lucara is a member of the Lundin Group of Companies and is listed on the TSX, Nasdaq Stockholm and the Botswana Stock Exchange under the symbol "LUC".
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.