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Three cuts above the rest

OLDM fired up for new project

Debswana’s proposed Cut-3 project, which will breathe new life into Orapa mine, is also expected to create numerous employment opportunities for locals.

This was the promise made by Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) General Manager, Bakani Motlhabani, speaking at a stakeholder’s engagement in Orapa earlier this month.

The get-together was designed to give stakeholders an update on OLDM activities, community initiatives and the state of business at the three mines.

Scheduled to commence in 2023 – although it is still to be approved by Debswana’s Board of Directors – the Cut-3 scheme was widely discussed on the night.

“The project is a mine expansion which will increase the size of the pit at Orapa. This is where you mine more waste rock so that it opens the size of the pit. It will extend the mine’s life until 2046,” explained Motlhabani, adding that at the moment, under the ongoing Cut-2 project, the mine’s lifespan is set to end in 2033.

The GM revealed plans are currently at the pre-feasibility stage.

“That basically means we are considering all options open to us. From there it will be feasibility then implementation,” he continued.

Although Cut-3 is yet to receive the green light, Motlhabani is extremely confident the project will get the board’s seal of approval.

“I am certain that Cut-3 will be approved looking at the market. It will benefit people greatly as there will be employment creation; extending the mine’s life means people will be employed!” he reiterated.

“It will impart skills to the community and those who provide accommodation like guest houses, hotels and houses for rent will benefit,” added the General Manager.

Turning his attention to the mining giant’s corporate social responsibility, Motlhabani announced Debswana had donated P3.75 million to the Ministry of Basic Education for the construction of a special education facility at Tsienyane Primary School in 2020.

Based in Rakops, Tsienyane Special Education Unit Class was established in 2010 with an initial enrollment of 16 pupils. The current intake stands at 51, with pupils aged from seven to 21.

“It is the only Unit in the Boteti Sub-District with a catchment area covering Xere, Mmadikola, Toromoja and Khumaga. The objective of the project is to improve educational results amongst students living with disabilities and to identify unique capabilities of the learners and channel them to areas that they can perform at their full potential,” concluded Motlhabani.

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