Debswana - Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) last week officially opened the Diamond Route Centre located inside the Orapa Game Park. The opening of the Centre follows the signing of the Orapa Game Park into the Diamond Route in 2012, an initiative of the E Oppenheimer & Son, De Beers and Ponahalo Holdings whose main objective is to bring a long lasting contribution to conservation and raise environmental awareness in the communities in which the De Beers Family of Companies operate.
The main objectives of The Diamond Route project include, promoting biodiversity, cultural and heritage conservation practices, facilitating scientific research, developing employee and community training and education opportunities, engaging in environmental awareness and involvement amongst employees and communities, applying sound environmental, safety and health management practices and promoting the contribution of The Diamond Route through effective communication and tourism.
Speaking at the official opening of the Centre, the Diamond Route Trustee, Mr. Nicky Oppenheimer said the opening of the OLDM Diamond Route Centre marked another ‘diamonds for development’ milestone for Debswana - OLDM which prides itself with the vision of the outgoing General Manager, Dr. Adrian Gale of “Orapa today, Boteti tomorrow.”
He pointed out that the project links nine conservation sites in southern Africa covering 250, 000 hectares stretching from the semi desert of Namaqualand on South Africa’s west coast to the Venetia Limpopo Reserve on the country’s northern border. He also said that the project runs a range of education and training programmes and has formed development partnerships with numerous local communities and organisations in South Africa.
Oppenheimer expressed his gratitude that the Diamond Route now springs right up to the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana with the inclusion of the Orapa Game Park. “It gives me great honor to note that The Diamond Route grew out of a mining business driven by passionate people all demonstrating the good that Diamonds do,” he said.
Orapa, Debswana and Botswana are said to benefit immensely from being a member of the Diamond Route because the project links nine conservation sites.
For his part, Former OLDM General Manager Dr Adrian Gale said: “We shall promote biodiversity, cultural heritage conservation practices, facilitate scientific research, develop employees, train the community and avail education opportunities through this centre.”
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