Client
Debswana Diamond Company
Location
Botswana

Debswana Jwaneng Cut 8 Diamond Mine Expansion

The Jwaneng open pit diamond mine is the largest, by value, in the world. Its expansion facilitates greater access to kimberlite ore.

Fluor performed engineering, procurement, and construction management services for associated relocation and rebuilding of the mine surface infrastructure and completed the project in September 2012.

The mine expansion enables the removal of overburden to allow the mine to access 91 million tonnes of ore that will yield around 102 million carats of diamonds and extends the life of the mine to 2025.

Fluor has set the highest standard of performance commensurate with their world class position," said Balisi Bonyongo, General Manager of the Jwaneng Mine.


As part of the project, Fluor, Debswana, and its contractors undertook numerous sustainability initiatives that have directly benefitted the town of Jwaneng and its surrounding communities.

In collaboration with Debswana Mining Company, Fluor completed the project in Africa, achieving significant performance milestones with minimum impact on operations and posting more than five million safe work hours without a lost-time incident.


Open Pit Diamond Mine EPCM
Client's Challenge

The Jwaneng mine is 160 km southwest of the Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. “Cut 8” is a reference to the eighth expansion of the mine to enable access to more diamonds embedded in the kimberlite ore. Kimberlite is found in volcanic magma formed before the age of dinosaurs. It solidified, and along with gases and minerals – including diamonds – exploded to the earth's surface.

Debswana Diamond Company is a joint venture of the De Beers diamond company and the Government of Botswana.

Since discovery of the kimberlite in Botswana around 1970, Debswana has become the largest non-government employer in the country. Its economy, once based on agriculture, now exhibits one of the highest growth rates in the world. The Cut 8 project alone will employ 2,400 Botswana citizens.

Debswana presents challenging performance parameters that leave a legacy of safety and has commended Fluor and the Cut 8 team for advancing strategic ideas for employee safety.


Diamond Mine Infrastructure Engineering
Fluor's Solution

Fluor's responsibilities began with a feasibility study and grew to responsibility for relocating and rebuilding portions of the mine infrastructure affected by the pit expansion. The scope included earthworks, civil construction, pilings, structural steel erection, and electrical installation.

Approximately 2,000 Botswana citizens worked on the Cut 8 project, and Fluor's staff of 90 consisted of 85 locals and only five expatriates. The Fluor office in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has been there 50 years, also supported the effort. To facilitate development of all projects in the region, Fluor also registered an office in Botswana.

Fluor and the Client sponsored many safety programs over the course of the project and focused on safe behavior. The emphasis on safety carried over into the community.

Fluor continues to support Debswana and is currently undertaking a pre-feasibility study for a new treatment plant at Letlhakane Diamond Mine, north of Botswana's capital, Gaborone.

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Diamond Mine Processing Facility EPCM
Conclusion

Debswana is one of the world's largest producers of diamonds, and Jwaneng is expected to retain its place as the world's richest diamond mine. Current production is 12.5 to 15 million carats per year. Cut 8 is expected to produce 102 million carets. Fluor has carried out work in the area for many years, and more mining projects are expected to come through the new Botswana office.

Fluor completed the Cut 8 project in September 2012. The milestone was celebrated during a project completion ceremony in Jwaneng. Executives and senior management from Debswana Diamond Company, Fluor, and other construction contractors attended the celebration.