b"THE STATE OF RETAIL COLOREDDIAMONDSJEWELRY STONES DESIGNLIFE OF BOTSWANAS MINES investment and sustainability manager in the country.Botswana, the worlds top diamond producer by value, currentlyEver since I was a child, economic diversity was something that has four active diamond mines: Jwaneng, Orapa, and Letlhakane was mentioned. Thats really a reality. Its always been there.all operated by Debswanaand the Karowe mine, which Lucara Diamond Corp. owns and operates.A VISION FOR THE FUTURETogether, these four mines produced 25.1 million carats of dia- In his 2023 State of the Nation address, delivered in November monds in 2023, with the Debswana mines accounting for 77 percentand streamed live worldwide via Facebook, Botswana President Mok-of De Beers overall annual production. gweetsi Masisi noted the significant impact the diamond markets Jwaneng, the richest diamond mine in the world, was responsible forups and downs have on his country.more than half of Debswana's total production, though open-pit opera- According to Masisis speech, Botswanas economic growth slowed tions at the mine are in their final decade.to 3.8 percent in 2023 from 5.8 percent in 2022, a decline he attributed The current life of the Jwaneng mine is projected as 2036 in the lat- solely to weak demand for rough diamonds.est Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Report from De Beers parentThe 2023 average annual growth rate falls short of the 6 percent company Anglo American. That includes the current Cut-9 expansionneeded to elevate Botswana from an upper middle-income country to project, the last open-pit project to prolong the life of the mine. a high-income country according to World Bank standards, one of the After this final cut, Jwaneng will transition to undergroundgoals outlined in Vision 2036, the countrys current 20-year plan.operations, which Debswana anticipates will extend the mines lifeIt is for this reason that we are intensifying our efforts to trans-beyond 2050. In January, De Beers announced that following com- form the economy and [it is why] sustainable economic development pletion of feasibility studies, the Debswana board had approved a $1remains central to the governments development agenda, Masisi said. billion investment in the next phase of the project.Botswana is eight years into Vision 2036, its second 20-year plan. At Lucara's Karowe mine, the open pit is projected to run dry byDeveloped in 2016, the year the country celebrated 50 years of inde-2026, but underground operations, which have not yet commenced,pendence, it is the successor to the first national Vision plan, which are expected to extend the mines life until 2040.spanned 1996-2016.Orapa is set to close in 2037, while operations at its satel-lite mine, Letlhakane, are projected to continue for six years beyond that, through 2043.A worker looks out over Together, Orapa and Letlhakane produced 11.4 millionthe open pit at Jwaneng, carats of diamonds last year.Botswanas top producer and the No. 1 diamond (There is a fifth diamond mine in Botswana, another Orapamine in the world in satellite called Damtshaa, but it was shut down in 2021.) terms of value.All this means that, barring any new discoveries or major projects that prolong the life of its mines, Botswana has 35 years of diamonds left at best, a reality the country has been well aware of and discussing for years. Its not [just] now; its always been a reality that the economy needs to diversify, not wait for the last diamonds to come out of the mine, because that would not be a sustainable way of developing the economy, says Wanetsha Mosinyi, who grew up in Botswana and now serves as De Beers social Jwaneng produced 13.3 million carats of diamonds in 2023, down only slightly from 2022.64 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2024"