Debswana Jwaneng Mine Cut 8 project has recorded an increase in volumes of waste from 82 million in 2012 to 116 million tonnes during this financial year.
Debswana Managing Director, Balisi Bonyongo recently said Cut 8 was on course to produce its diamonds come 2017. “We are on the right track. Jwaneng has recovered a total of 10.4million carats as opposed to 8.2million in 2012. This strong result was made possible by the mining functions consistent supply of well- fragmented dry ore, as well as good plant performance.” Jwaneng Mine embarked on the Cut 8 Project in 2010 as a key strategic imperative to extend the life of the mine from 2024 to 2031, hence the Debswana and Majwe mining joint venture partnership to deliver the project.
The P24 billion project is the largest ever single capital commitment in Botswana’s private sector. Meanwhile Debswana Jwaneng Mine General Manager, Albert Milton has said that at completion, the Cut 8 pushback will have mined 658 million tonnes of waste to deliver 92 million tonnes of ore. “The pit dimensions will be 2.4km long, 1.6km wide at surface and 624m deep. From inception the waste mining was outsourced and split into phase 1 and 2.” Phase 1 was completed in 2012 and at that time Phase 2 was ramping up.
Phase 2 is currently being mined by Majwe mining and is due for completion in 2017, said Milton. He noted that 2014 production is on track to be the best over the past three years due to concerted efforts to improve productivity in Cut 8. Majwe Mining Project Director, Rod Foster recently explained that they are operating at unprecedented levels of mine production, at a 36 million bank cubic metres (Mbcm) annualised rate. “Despite a very tight mining schedule and high expectations from stakeholders we are proud to bring new mining techniques, methodologies, systems and skills to the table here in Botswana. We are proud of the skills we continue to transfer to Batswana, and we are committed to leaving a legacy of enhanced skills across the many aspects of mining operations to the greater benefit of Botswana as a whole.”
Foster, who had to change the leadership team, when he joined the company nearly six months ago, said he believes the new team will take the company to realising its full potential during the second half of the project. “They have a task ahead of them, no doubt but, I am convinced that they are the right people with the right staff to take us to where we need,” he said. In its annual report for the financial year 2013, Debswana indicated that the 2012 slope failure continued to impact on production with restricted access to Cut 6.
However, as a result of the reinforced slope monitoring systems and processes in place since the tragic failure in 2012, the team was able to predict another slope failure of the same magnitude and precautions were taken well in advance to avoid injuries and damage to equipment and to limit disruptions to production. The Jwaneng mine’s Cut 8 project will extend the life of the world’s richest diamond mine to at least 2028 by providing access to approximately 86 million tonnes of ore and yielding an additional 102 million carats of high quality diamonds.