Home > economy, mining > De Beers, Botswana Shut World’s Biggest Gem Mines

De Beers, Botswana Shut World’s Biggest Gem Mines

Debswana Diamond Co., a venture between De Beers and Botswana that produces a fifth of the world’s diamonds, will shut down all its mines until at least April 14, after demand for the gems slowed.

The Damtshaa mine and Orapa No. 2 plants will be shut for the rest of the year, Gaborone-based Debswana said in an e-mailed statement today. The company, which employs 5,510 people, plans to cut 580 jobs at those operations and redeploy those workers elsewhere in the company, it said. Its Jwaneng mine is the world’s biggest diamond operation by production value.

The company’s four diamond mines, which will be shut from Feb. 25, account for about 70 percent of the exports of Botswana, the world’s biggest diamond producer, and 30 percent of the southern African nation’s economy. De Beers on Feb. 20 said it produced 48.1 million carats this year, with Debswana producing 32.3 million carats.

This article was posted on Bloomberg. Click here to continue reading

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