De Beers, the world’s largest diamond miner, has confirmed its plans for a substantial $1 billion investment in the Jwaneng underground project in Botswana. This project, located at the world’s most profitable diamond mine, will help address the tightening diamond supply globally.
The majority-owned diamond major, Anglo American, announced on Wednesday that this investment will facilitate the transition of the Jwaneng mine from open pit to underground operations. The initial works are scheduled to commence in May.
Chief Executive Al Cook emphasized that this decision to move forward with the Jwaneng Underground Project is a direct response to the decreasing global supply of natural diamonds. He added that this investment aligns with their strategic focus on prioritizing investments in high-quality projects.
The Jwaneng mine, operated through a 50-50 joint venture between De Beers and the government of Botswana, boasts an impressive annual average production of almost 11 million carats.
Last July, De Beers signed a ten-year agreement with Botswana, solidifying the rough diamond production partnership of the joint venture. As part of this deal, Botswana’s share of the diamonds increased from 25% to 50%, accompanied by a 25-year extension to the mining licenses.