Leighton Holdings has been awarded a 66 month, US$ 586 million mining contract in Botswana.
The contract is for Cut 8 Phase 2 services at the Debswana diamond mine in Jwaneng, Botswana.
It will provide services which include mine scheduling, drilling and blasting, truck and shovel waste removal, and some ore mining.
Leighton will remove some 156 million cubic metres of materials.
Stating that it is the contractor’s first mining project in Africa, Leighton chief executive David Stewart said this is a major step, and “strategically it makes sense for Leighton – the world’s largest contract miner – to take our mining capability to resources markets like Southern Africa. We see this region as offering a significant range of mining opportunities.”
The contract is a joint venture with Debswana in Botswana, with Leighton holding a 60% share in the project.
According to Leighton, the Jwaneng is the richest diamond mine the world and produced 11.5 million carats from 8.2 million tonnes treated.
Currently an open cut mine, there are plans to extend operations underground in a decade which will add another ten to 15 years to the mine’s life.