Boteti Exploration said Friday that it has submitted to Botswana authorities an application for a mining license discovered by De Beers Prospecting Botswana.
The application was submitted to the to the Botswana Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, to mine the AK06 deposit, situated approximately 10 miles southwest of Letlhakane. De Beers’ joint venture partners in Boteti Exploration Co. are African Diamonds Plc and Wati Ventures. De Beers holds 66.22 percent stake in the company, African Diamonds Plc owns 28.8 percent, and Wati Ventures holds a 5.4 percent stake.
Operations are expected to begin during the last quarter of 2009. The mine will be an open pit operation. The current life of mine is estimated at 10 years, with an average annual production of approximately 1 million carats, the company said. Once operational, the mine will employ approximately 240 permanent employees for phase one of the operation increasing to approximately 320 permanent employees during phase two of the operation. During the construction phase, which precedes mining, employment levels are predicted to peak at approximately 1,500 people.
De Beers has been appointed the operator by the shareholders.