De Beers Unearths First Diamonds from Venetia Underground in South Africa

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The remarkable $2.2 billion expansion of the Venetia mine in South Africa, spearheaded by De Beers Group, is set to ensure the mine’s operations until at least 2046. Recently, De Beers unveiled that they have successfully extracted the inaugural diamonds from this massive underground expansion, marking a significant milestone in the mine’s history.

Venetia’s underground section boasts two primary orebodies, labeled K01 and K02. These orebodies are projected to yield an impressive 4.5 to 5.5 million carats of diamonds each year. This substantial output positions Venetia as a pivotal asset in De Beers’ global portfolio.

K01, being the more abundant orebody, is anticipated to contribute an average of 3.5 million carats from roughly 4.5 million tons of material annually. On the other hand, K02 is expected to produce approximately 1 million carats from a material range of 1.5 million to 2.5 million tons.

The journey to expand Venetia underground commenced in 2012, and De Beers reports that the project is now 70% finalized. The upcoming years will witness continued construction and a gradual increase in production, ensuring the mine remains operational until 2046 or even beyond.

Venetia stands as De Beers’ sole diamond mine in South Africa, especially after the Voorspoed mine’s closure. Established in 1992, the mine transitioned from open-pit operations, which concluded last year. The substantial $2 billion investment in the underground expansion of Venetia represents one of the most significant financial commitments to South Africa’s diamond mining sector in recent times.

Currently, the underground initiative provides employment to over 4,300 individuals, primarily from the neighboring Musina and Blouberg regions. In a move to facilitate the shift from open-pit to underground operations, De Beers inaugurated a $10.5 million training center in June 2021. The company proudly shares that they have effectively trained and transitioned 180 staff members, ensuring no permanent employees faced job losses.

Moses Madondo, the Managing Director of De Beers Group Managed Operations, expressed his enthusiasm: “Our substantial investment in transitioning the globally recognized Venetia Mine underground underscores De Beers Group’s enduring commitment to South Africa. We are eager to witness the Venetia team’s continued excellence as we amplify production in the coming years, delivering significant advantages to our employees, local communities, business associates, and the entirety of South Africa.”

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