Debswana to Extend Lifespan of World’s Most Valuable Diamond Mine

The Jwaneng mine in Botswana will be deepened to 830 meters, according to a plan by the government published in local newspapers.

The Cut 9 project will extend the mine’s life by 11 years, to 2035, and allow the extraction of a further 50 million carats.

The mine is owned by Debswana, the joint venture between De Beers and the government of the African country.

Operations started at Jwaneng in 1982, and it is the world’s largest diamond producer by value and currently 650 meters deep. Cut 9 will involve stripping away waste at the bottom of the mine, both widening and deepening the pit. The previous extension project, Cut 8, cost about $3 billion and reached gem-bearing ore in 2016, seven years after work started.

The project will probably be financed internally, said Debswana spokeswoman Matshidiso Kamona. She declined to comment on the expected costs or schedule.

De Beers largely funded the previous Cut 8 project, which involved stripping 500 million tons of waste to expose an orebody containing an estimated 100 million carats that will be mined until 2024, when output is expected to start from Cut 9.