Project Extends Letlhakane Mine Life Span

| June 5, 2015

Letlhakane Mine tailings resource treatment project is expected to extend mine life by 24 years.

The operational readiness manager, Mr Kevin Mokotedi, said during a media site visit in Orapa and Letlhakane on June 2 stating that funds for project implementation were approved in November 2014.

He noted that stockpiles of ore would only be available for treatment post conventional pit mining and the plant faces closure by 2017.

Letlhakane Mine Tailings Resource Project was initiated in October 2011 to explore the extension of the mine life by treating the existing tailings resource.

Mr Mokotedi stated that Letlhakane Mine pits were reaching depths that limit conventional open pit mining and various mining options were being explored such as slope steepening and underwater mining. He said main works include a treatment plant and 66kv power line with its accessories.

The project, he said would protect jobs for existing employees when stockpiles get depleted in 2017, adding that jobs have already been created by engaging various contractors in the construction of the project.

Mr Mokotedi said employees who were involved in construction of the Jwaneng Modular Plant have been transferred to the Letlhakane Mine Tailings Resource Treatment Plant to leverage on their expertise.

Construction of the project would be completed in quarter three, 2016 followed by commissioning and handover to operations by September 2017.

The project has engaged various local contractors as it encouraged use of local labour and locally procured goods by contractors.

Entrepreneurs, he said would benefit from the project since contractors would seek accommodation from the village, including other services.

He noted that the project would bring revenue to government during the additional life of Letlhakane mine.

Acting Mining Manager at Letlhakane Mine, Mr Lebogang Tebogo noted that there was little activity at the mine due to DK Two pit closure as tonnage profile has gone down.

He stated that DK One pit which has since closed in 2010 was on care and maintenance, saying the only activities currently taking place were pit dewatering and slope stability management.

He stated that DK Two pit was mining three million tonnes of both ore and waste every year, producing 80 000 carats per year.

Desktop studies, he said were ongoing to devise a suitable method of mining to extend the mine life since the resource was still there. He stated that the feasible methods for the study included underwater and underground mining.

Debswana Group Projects Lead, Mr Johannes Rademan stated that their long term plans indicate resources that could be mined economically up to 2050. That, he said would strengthen Debswana and Botswana’s position as a leading producer of rough diamonds in the world.

Budget for the project, he further said covered over two billion Pula. He said the project would be treating 3.6 million tonnes per year and producing 800 000 carats per annum.

The diamonds size to be produced through the tailings project would range over one millimetre to 10 millimetres.

BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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