Underlining the generally depressed state of the mining sector, Botswana contract miner, Basil Read Mining Botswana has announced the halting of operations at Lerala Diamond Mine (LDM) with immediate effect.
Newswire, African News Agency reported that BRMD, which was contracted to conduct mining operations on behalf of Australian Gem miner, Kimberly Diamonds Limited, had said it had been forced with no option but retrench employees to reduce unnecessary operating costs during the period of inactivity.
In a leaked internal mono circulated to all heads of department, which African News Agency, Gabriel Monyatsi said that all in-pit mining operations had been suspended due to the constrained capacity of the diamond processing plant.
In the memo, Monyatsi explained: “The company received a letter from LDM authorities informing it that the ramp up in production has been significantly slower than was planned due to the inability of the plant to process head feed at the desired rate. As a result, the LDM has temporarily ceased all in-pit mining operations until further notice.”
In the interim, the plant’s expansion, which is scheduled to take four months, would still go ahead as planned, Monyatsi said.