In a development which underlines the country’s confidence in diamond sales in the coming years, Debswana Diamond Company, which is the partnership between the government of Botswana and diamond giant, De Beers, has extended its contract with Majwe Mining Joint Venture for two-years, covering 2017 and 2018.
Sadique Kebonang, Botswana’s minister of mineral resources, green technology and energy security disclosed this during his brief to legislators in the country’s national assembly a few days ago.
The first Debswana Diamond Company and Majwe Mining Joint Venture contract started in 2011 and was initially scheduled to be completed at the end of 2016. However, Kebonang explained that the rate of mining had to be aligned with the slowdown in the diamond market.
Kebonang explained that the project was initially planned for completion by end of 2016, however the rate of mining had to be slowed down to align it to the slowdown in the diamond market. “The completion date for the project has been extended to the end of 2018. First ore from cut 8 is scheduled to be delivered to the plant on time, starting in early 2017,” he said.
“So far, approximately P7bn has been spent on this contract,” he added.
Further, the minister clarified that that the extension was not expected to negatively affect any sub-contractors already involved in the project.