Mmegi Online :: Most Karowe Mine workers to keep jobs
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Last Updated
Monday 24 July 2017, 16:05 pm.
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Most Karowe Mine workers to keep jobs

Lucara Diamond expects staff at its Karowe mine in Botswana will “largely” hold on to their jobs when a new contractor starts operating the mine.
By Staff Writer Fri 16 Dec 2016, 15:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Most Karowe Mine workers to keep jobs








Lucara’s subsidiary Boteti Mining, which owns the high-value diamond project, is finalising a deal with a new contractor following the termination of its agreement with Eqstra Botswana.

The move only impacts mining staff responsible for the drill, blast and delivery of ore to the plant, with diamond sorters unaffected.

The new contractor, which Lucara has not yet named, will be responsible for recruiting its own employees, Lucara’s president and chief executive officer, William Lamb said in an email to Rapaport News.

 However, the company “believes that the Eqstra workforce at Karowe whose employment has been affected will be largely transferred to the employ of the new mining contractor,” Lamb pointed out.

Lucara announced earlier this month it had terminated Eqstra’s contract.

The change of contractor will not have a material impact on diamond production, Lucara said.

Following the termination, Eqstra said it will seek to recoup damages from Lucara Diamond over the premature termination of the opencast mining contract.Eqstra, which is a subsidiary of JSE-listed Extract, says on November 29,

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2016, it was advised by Lucara of its intention to terminate the opencast mining contract and to cease mining operations on December 13, 2016.

The South African contactor employed 390 workers at Karowe mine, who are now set to lose their jobs next week.

Lucara, according to Eqstra, further intends to withhold payment due for work performed in October and November, as a result of irreconcilable differences with regard to volumes mined.

“The company categorically denies and refutes any allegations of improper conduct relating to the performance of its contractual obligations.

The company can assure its shareholders that it made all reasonable efforts to resolve the issue in order to progress the partnership in a mutually beneficial way,” Eqstra stated.

From the contract value of approximately R500 million per annum of revenue Eqstra says the contract’s profit after taxation per annum contribution stood at R8.5 million.

The Karowe mine is best known as the source of the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, the second largest rough diamond in history.

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