Today, June 23rd, 2011 marks 42 years since the formation of the De Beers Botswana Mining Company, a 50/50 partnership between the Government of Botswana and De Beers Group. In 1992, the company was then renamed Debswana Diamond Company.
In 1967, after a 12 year search, a team of De Beers’ geologists discovered a kimberlite pipe 15km North of Letlhakane village, and later that year the Orapa pipe was discovered. The Jwaneng Mine pipes were discovered in 1972. It was however, only in 1971, 1976 and 1982 that production started at Orapa Mine, Letlhakane Mine and Jwaneng Mine, respectively.
The company’s 4th and youngest mine, Damtshaa Mine was constructed in 2001 and production there commenced in 2002.
June 23rd is a pivotal day in our calendar as Debswana. As we celebrate 42 years of existence, we pay tribute to our employees across the company, present and past, for their dedication and loyalty towards ensuring that we continue to safely mine one of the world’s most precious resources, for the ultimate benefit of all Batswana. We are also grateful for the support that we have and continue to get from our key external stakeholders such as the Board of Directors, our business partners, the communities in which we operate and the public including the media. It is because of this unwavering support that our company continues to efficiently produce the best diamonds in the world by value. Debswana remains committed to make a long lasting contribution to Botswana’s socio-economy growth, said the Debswana spokesperson, Esther Kanaimba- Senai.
In his message to employees this morning, the company’s Managing Director, Jim Gowans said that Debswana has delivered diamond revenues that have powered economic growth and development for Botswana over the past four decades and continues to do so to date, adding that in fact, Four Pula out of every Five Pula generated by Debswana goes to the Government and forms the biggest portion of funding for Botswana’s socio-economic development.
He commended the workforce for their contribution to the growth of the company and implored them to continue pulling together even amid changes to be brought about by the current Organisational Alignment project, the main objective of which is to ensure Debswana becomes a high performance organisation operating at global benchmark levels.