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Debswana to close Damtshaa until end of 2010

Staff Writer
Debswana plans to extend the closure of Damtshaa Mine until the end of 2010 due to uncertainty in the market, Managing Director Balckie Marole said yesterday.

Speaking at Diamond Town Hall Meeting held at the GICC Marole said the mining company's board approved the proposal and they will approach the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources for approval.

"The closure is based on the fact that what we currently produce from other mines is far more than market demand," he said.

Marole said to bring Damtshaa Mine, which is the smallest behind Jwaneng, Letlhakane and Orapa mines back to production, after closing it for a year due to the global recession, will cost millions of Pula and result in higher stockpiles.

"The board

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felt that we should save millions by keeping it closed until the end of 2010 but ramp up production at other mines which are cheaper to run than Damtshaa." He however said if the market improves significantly and comes back to normal before the end of 2010, Debswana will then request the minister for the re-opening the mine.

Debswana, a 50/50 joint venture between the government and De Beers, temporarily closed all its mines early this year to cut costs.  

Damtshaa and Orapa 2 plant were closed until the end of the year.



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