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Resting place for lions (in Sesarwa)
Orapa is a conventional open pit mine, situated 240 km west of Francistown. The mine began production in July 1971 and is the oldest running Debswana operation. Orapa's production continues to contribute significantly to Debswana's total carat output with 17,3 million carats being recovered in 2006.
The mine became fully operational in August 1982, when it was officialy opened by the then President of Botswana, His Excellency Sir Ketumile Masire.
Orapa Mine The mine began operating in 1971. Orapa Mine is the biggest open cast mine in the world.
Debswana maintains a COHSASA accredited hospital in Orapa which boasts 65 beds, 10 doctors, 2 dentists and support departments inclusive of a laboratory, radiography, physiotherapy, and pharmacy. The hospital provides health services to mine employees, Orapa community and serves as a referral hospital for the district of Boteti.
Orapa is committed to its environmental responsibilities and focuses on water conservation, waste management as well as maintenance of Orapa Game Park.
In 2004 the Orapa and Letlhakane Mines were awarded some of the highest international accolades being the National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA) five star with a score of 91.5% and ISO 14001 re-accreditation which is the equivalent of an impeccable environmental management programme. In addition, the Orapa and Letlhakane Mines achieved 2 million fatality free shifts. This means that throughout 2004 and in part of 2003 there were no fatality occurrences.
Orapa town serves as the adminstrative center for Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines.
Letlhakane Mine
Letlhakane Mine is situated 50 km from Debswana’s Orapa operation, or some 190 km West of Francistown, in Central Botswana. Letlhakane, which was first discovered during the sampling and evaluation process at Orapa, became Debswana’s second mine when it opened in 1975.The mine is managed from the larger Orapa operation.Prospecting in the region of the Orapa kimberlite pipe continues.
Damtshaa Mine
Water for Tortoises (In Sesarwa)
Four small diamond pipes (B/K1,B/K9, B/K12 and B/K 15) were found between 1967 and 1972 in the area 20km east of the Orapa kimberlite pipe. These pipes form the Damtshaa Mine,managed along with Letlhakane Mine from the Orapa operation.Damtshaa Mine has forecasted to yield 5 million carats from 39 million tons of ore mined over the 31 year projected life of mine.Damtshaa Mine is expected to run as an open cast mine untill 2029. The mine was officially opened by the then Vice President
of the Republic of Botswana Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
“The Damtshaa Mine is the latest addition to the strengthening and consolidation of our position as the leading nation in diamond production,” Vice President Khama stated in 2002 at the commissioning of Damtshaa Mine.

OLDM Production
OLDM produced 12,0 million carats during the year (2011:12,25 million). Ore mined amounted to 16,7 million tonnes (2011:16,2 million). Carat production includes 0,2 million carats from Damtshaa Mine, which was on care and maintenance during 2011.In preparation for the recommencement of full pit mining activity in Quarter 1 2013, Damtshaa Mine acquired its first Slope Stability Radar, which was commissioned in December 2012. Despite the loss of earthmoving equipment due to fire, the mine plan for OLDM was well executed. Resource extension projects for the Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines continued throughout the year and are on schedule.

2012 Production Statistics

Orapa Mine                    2012         2011
Waste mined                     7,675        7,069
Ore mined                        13,311     13,098
Ore treated                      12,251      13,250
Carats recovered               11,089      1,157
Letlhakane Mine             2012          2011
Waste                                5,562         6,042
Ore mined                          3,301         3,129
Ore treated                        2,220         3,102
Carats produced                  764           1,091
Damtshaa                         2012
Waste mined                         31
Ore mined                            128
Ore treated                          1,387
Carats recovered                  191
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Diamond Fact
Every diamond is immensely old, formed long before dinosaurs roamed the earth. The youngest diamond is 900 million years old. Click on the link to learn more about diamonds...