A successful transition of the Cut 9 expansion project from Majwe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) to Debswana Diamond Company was reached on 4th April 2021. The Cut 9 contract was a P12 billion waste stripping project that started in 2019 and was expected to end in 2027. The Cut 9 operation will continue with its intent to extend the life of mine of diamond mining in Jwaneng Mine to 2035.
To date the transition has been smooth. No safety incidents have been recorded and this gives Debswana confidence that critical controls have been implemented and are delivering the expected results. Production has been stable throughout the transition from Contract Mining to the interim ‘Project’ arrangement, which entails Jwaneng mine directly operating and managing the Cut 9 mining operation and only outsourcing some key services and resources. Re-tendering process for Cut 9 Labour Sourcing services is planned to be concluded in December 2021.
Debswana recently undertook a recruitment drive of Fixed Term Contract employees who will work at the Cut 9 operation while a Labour Service Provider is being sought through public tender. To date, 320 out of 413 vacancies have already been filled under Cut 9 recruitment. Recruitment for the remaining 93 positions will be completed by the end of April 2021. In addition, recruitment is also on-going through business partners working for Cut 9 operation.
There are other required outsourced services, such as drilling, tyre management, maintenance and labour services, amongst others. The tyre contract for tyre management has been awarded to a 100% citizen-owned company. A 100% citizen-owned equipment leasing contractor is currently supplying some equipment to the Cut 9 operation. Maintenance is undertaken by the OEMs.
Other tenders are at various stages of the process as follows: a short-term drilling contractor is in place to ensure smooth transition whilst a longer-term contract is currently out on tender, this is for a 100% citizen owned company; the running of the contractor’s camp clinic procurement process is being adjudicated; and the re-tendering for the labour sourcing services has been restarted. Smaller contracts such as the provision of food and bussing of employees have been awarded to 100% citizen-owned companies.
This further demonstrates that Debswana has prioritized implementation of the Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy (CEEP) which the Company adopted in 2017 with a deliberate aim to significantly increase the amount of money spent on local procurement of goods and services from citizen-owned companies. The Debswana CEEP is in alignment with the national Citizen Economic Empowerment Framework whose intention is to reduce the import bill by buying from Botswana based companies and to spur employment creation as well enhance economic diversification.
Debswana remains committed to its high-level strategic objectives in the area of Corporate Social Investment (CSI); as such the hybrid model used to deliver Cut 9, once fully operational, will significantly impact on the desired CSI and CEEP initiatives through the following: Component Rebuild Centre – Debswana intends to continue work on this socio-economic development project and a re-scoping exercise is underway; Increased citizen ownership participation with several key contracts from the Cut 9 works reserved and awarded to citizens.
In the past five years Jwaneng Mine has spent a total of P 4.6 billion on citizen owned companies who trade in the specialties of Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Fire Suppression, Construction, Water Solutions, Industrial Cleaning and Environmental Management among others. Debswana remains resolute in its endeavor to ensure that citizens benefit most from its supply chain process, and where capacity is a challenge, deliberate efforts will be undertaken to grow, handhold and graduate citizen owned companies towards global competitiveness.