Modern Mining February 2019
Despite the fact that most of its assets in Africa have now been operating for decades and can be considered ‘mature’, the De Beers Group is working hard – and successfully – to extend the life of existing operations and continues to regard Africa as an excellent destination for both exploration and mine development. This is the view of De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver, who recently answered a series of questions put to him by Modern Mining relating to the Group’s African operations. De Beers Group upbeat on its future in Africa
How does De Beers see its future in South Africa? Is Venetia going to be the Group’s only mine in the country or is there a real desire to find and develop new deposits? De Beers Group continues to view explo- ration in South Africa as an important area of focus, and applying new technology to the approved areas while using the company’s his- torical data maximises the chances of success. While we are optimistic about the future of exploration in South Africa, diamonds do not give themselves up easily and it’s important to bear in mind that it’s rare for an economically viable deposit to be discovered. However, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has recently approved 32 of the 54 prospecting rights applications by De Beers Consolidated Mines, some outstand- ing since 2014. De Beers Group continues to engage with the DMR and views the latest positive developments as a first and exciting MM BC
step in getting back to greenfields exploration. We also continue investment in our existing mine Venetia. While it remains our only mine in the country at the moment contributing about 70 % of South Africa’s production, it is one of the world’s very few Tier 1 assets, and the larg- est diamond mine in South Africa. The US$2 billion investment is taking the mine under- ground – one of the largest investment projects underway in the entire industry – and this will see production continue into the 2040s.
The Venetia open pit viewed from the Eastern Pit view- point with the headgears of the Venetia Underground Project (VUP) on the skyline.
Why has De Beers chosen to relinquish
30 MODERN MINING February 2019
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