De Beers announced Tuesday that the shareholders of Debswana (the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers), will proceed with a major extension project at Jwaneng diamond mine.
The project, also known as Cut-8, is the largest ever single capital commitment in the private sector in Botswana.
Debswana will invest $500 million in capital expenditure and, taking into account all project stages – including feasibility, design, implementation and mining operations, as well as the cost of plant and equipment – the estimated project investment is likely to total $3 billion over the next 15 years.
The project estimates the creation of more than 1,000 jobs. The development will require the removal of over 700 million tons of waste between 2010 and 2024, exposing an additional 78 million tons of diamond bearing ore, and deepening the Jwaneng pit to a depth of 650 metres. De Beers estimates that this will create access to a further 95 million carats, which could be worth in excess of $15 billion over the life of the mine.
Jwaneng Mine contributes approximately 70% of Debswana’s total revenue. Diamonds from Debswana, in turn, contribute 50% of public revenue, 33% of GDP, and over 80% of foreign earnings to Botswana.