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Letlhakane mine’s diamonds in the rough

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Letlhakane mine's diamonds in the rough
HISTORIC MOMENT: Letlhakane Mine

Debswana’s Letlhakane Mine Tailings Resource Treatment Project (LMTRTP) recently recovered the first carats from their tailings resource.

It is the first time since the mine was commissioned in 1975 that they have mined and treated their tailings.

Often referred to as mine dumps, tailings are the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the uneconomic fraction.

Describing the moment as a ‘milestone achievement’, the mine’s Acting Senior Commissioning Manager, Kirby Motsumi said the exiting development was in line with their strategic goals.

“Of course, we thank our team and business partners for working tirelessly and safely in the delivery of this key milestone. The focus is now on preparing for continuous running of the Plant.

“This means working to deliver per the strategic blueprint we have in place and ensuring efficient and sustainable efforts,” he stressed – sentiments that were echoed by Senior Construction Manager, Douglas Hambidge.

“Achieving the milestone has indeed brought in a lot of excitement amongst the teams, especially contractors and business partners as they witness their handiwork come to life. This is a great feat, and we are excited at the progress being made,” said Hambidge.

Part of final commissioning stages included introduction of tailings material into the different sections of the process plant and confirmation that the individual sections achieve production targets.

For the plant to go into full production and reach set production targets, Senior Project Manager, Omphile Ntabeni revealed it must run consistently for 72 hours.

“I remain confident that with the support from the various stakeholders and teamwork delivered on this key project, this will be achieved,” he predicted optimistically.

The new plant is expected to extend Letlhakane Mine’s existence by over 20 years.