Diamond giant’s huge future plans
As part of its ambitious new strategy, and in keeping with the digital revolution, diamond giants, Debswana are set to embark on a money-spinning digitization journey.
According to Debswana’s Head of Transformation and Innovation, Thabo Balopi, adapting to technological ways of mining will ultimately deliver P10 billion value to shareholders.
Speaking at a stakeholder engagement recently, Balopi was quick to reassure Debswana’s workers that the company’s digital drive would not be the end of them.
“Our key focus is how we are going to take people along as we embark on this journey,” he stated.
Indeed, as well as keeping people at work, Debswana is confident their new strategy will create a whopping 20, 000 jobs across all sectors of the value chain in the next four years.
Balopi revealed they intend to splash out P20 billion on the citizen economic empowerment push, with P7 billion set aside for this year.
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“We are going to be doing this with many of stakeholders in Botswana such as Botswana Innovation Hub,” he highlighted.
In transforming Debswana into a digital enterprise, Balopi announced the company has started studies to transition its Jwaneng mine into an underground operation, extending the mine’s lifespan by 20 years to 2054.
If all goes to plan, Jwaneng will become the largest underground diamond mine in the world, with more than 360 kilometers (km) of tunnel development.
This will enable the mine to produce 9 million carats of diamonds every year.
Meanwhile, Jwaneng Mine General Manager, Koolatotse Koolatotse revealed Debswana had to terminate Majwe Mining Joint Venture contract to transition to a hybrid model.
“This is the model where Debswana maintains and operates its assets and the transition was successful after we started on the 4th of April,” explained Koolatotse.
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He said the mine has created 413 vacancies on fixed-term contracts and is looking to engage a total of 501 for the Cut-9 project which was taken from Majwe. So far, 320 positions have been filled.
Koolatotse further disclosed a total of 422 former Majwe mining workers have been offered jobs at Debswana, while seven declined to cite better offers elsewhere.