Voorspoed diamond mine, South Africa
Published: 28 Nov 08
Name and Location
Voorspoed diamond mine, Free State, South Africa.
Voorspoed will be De Beers Consolidated Mines' (DBCM's) largest project in South Africa, since its Venetia mine, in Limpopo province, was commissioned in the 1980s.
The Voorspoed area is a 12,5-ha diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe, that will harvest - according to studies - potentially as much as 800 000 ct/y at full production.
The mine is expected to be operational for the next 12 to 16 years, which includes the mine's prestrip, ramp-up of production and closure. Over the full life-of-mine, Voorspoed is expected to produce over ten-million carats.
The reason for DBCM's closing of the Voorspoed mine, after acquiring it in 1912, was the extremely hard kimberlite and diamonds that could not be liberated with the crushing technology available at the mine.
The DBCM board approved the project in February 2006, encouraged by advances in diamond processing technology, especially high-pressure roll-crushing technology.
The mine was opened on November 4, 2008.
Key Contracts and Suppliers
Murray & Roberts Construction, Murray & Roberts Engineering Solutions, Murray & Roberts MEI (mine contract).
De Beers opened its Voorspoed mine on November 4, 2008.
As a new-generation mine, Voorspoed will be operated by a new generation of miner. Voorspoed employees are more qualified than is traditional for a mining environment in South Africa. All employees have fully completed secondary school, and many have had tertiary education.
The mine already has an outstanding record of ‘women in mining' and 25% of technical and mining jobs are held by women, while 36% of the mine complement is female.
Further, the mine will set new standards in environmental and social performance.
The mine was opened with an environmental, rehabilitation and closure plan already in place.
The plan was implemented before construction started and before the first diamond was recovered.
On Budget and on Time?
All major construction was completed by Murray & Roberts by the end of March 2008. Commissioning activities started in December 2007, while construction was under way.
Production ramp-up started in May 2008, testing full production levels by the end of September 2008 (nine months ahead of the project baseline schedule).
Contact Details for Project Information
DBCM, Tom Tweedy, tel +27 11 374 7173
or email email@example.com.
DBCM, Voorspoed mine, Josephine Kasumba, tel +27 56 216 8474 or