According to mining behemoth De Beers, a $2.3 billion (R40 billion, at current exchange rates) mine in South Africa has begun to generate its first diamonds.
The international company began excavating beneath Venetia, the biggest diamond mine in the nation, in 2012 in an effort to find gems at a depth of more than 1000 metres.
Venetia is an open mine that shut down in December 2022 after 30 years of operation in northeastern South Africa, close to Musina and the borders with Zimbabwe and Botswana.
The company referred to the first diamonds as “a key milestone” but did not provide any other information.
According to the report, the underground operation, which employs 4 300 people, is currently 70% finished.
Between 4.5 million and 5.5 million carats of diamonds are anticipated to be produced annually at the site.
Moses Madondo, director of De Beers Managed Operations, stated that the investment strengthened the company’s “production for the long term” and demonstrated its dedication to South Africa.
“We look forward to seeing this high performing team continue the good work as we ramp up production over the next few years,” he said.
South Africa is a major producer of other precious metals like gold, chromium, and platinum in addition to being one of the world’s top producers of diamonds.
The country first started mining for diamonds in the second part of the 19th century, but as jewels closer to the surface have run out, miners have frequently had to go deeper, incurring larger costs.
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