The life span of Debswana’s Letlhakane Mine will avert closure as was likely in 2016, and instead, the Mine has been given a 24 year boost.
Debswana Managing Director Balisi Bonyongo is quoted by the news reports, earlier in 2015, saying that rather than close the mine as the pit is drying up, and consequently cut jobs at Debswana, the diamond mining company has decided to construct a Modular Tailings Plant at the mining site.
Project leader at Letlhakanae Mine, Kevin Mokotedi, told journalists that Letlhakane Mine Tailings Resource Treatment Project (LMTRTP), will save jobs at the mine, also adding that jobs have even been created by construction of the project.
Mokotedi said that the main works of LMTRTP include a treatment plant and a 66kv power line and accessories.
He said main contracts have been awarded, with various contractors winning contracts. The construction management of the project is led by Debswana while Fluor provides technical support.
Letlhakane Mine is said to be reaching depths that limit conventional open pit mining and various mining and the Mine is exploring various options such as slope steepening and underwater mining.
The project was initiated in in October 2011 to explore the possibility of extending the life of the mine by treating the existing tailings resource.
Using new and improved recovery technologies, the company expects to recover in the region of 800,000 carats of diamonds a year from tailings at the mine. Bonyongo also said that some employees from Letlhakane mine will be absorbed into employment at Debswana's nearby Damtshaa mine.
“We are looking to extend the mine life span to another 20 years. The construction of the Letlhakane mine Modular Tailings Plant started at the beginning of the year and when complete it will be able to handle a total of 800 000 carats of diamonds every year,” Bonyongo is quoted as saying, in media reports. Debswana confirmed this week during a media tour of the Mine, that funding for the project was approved in the last quarter of 2014 with construction commencing in the first quarter of 2015.
The Letlhakane mine was opened in Orapa village in the east central region of Botswana in 1975, and at its peak produced one million carats a year.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.