Tag Archives: Majwe Mining Joint Venture

Thiess to play major role in Debswana Jwaneng diamond mine Cut-9 project

Thiess, through Majwe Mining Joint Venture (Majwe), has secured a A$1.7 billion ($1.2 billion) contract at Debswana Diamond Co’s Jwaneng Mine Cut-9 project in Botswana.

Majwe, a JV between Thiess (70%) and long-term local partner Bothakga Burrow Botswana (30%), will provide full scope mining services over nine years, including drill and on-bench services, mine planning, equipment maintenance, load and haul, and mining operations, it said.

This new volume-based contract follows Majwe’s successful completion of the Cut 8 project at the diamond mine in November 2018.

Michael Wright, CEO of CIMIC Group, the owners of Thiess, said: “This new contract strengthens Thiess’ presence in Botswana and builds on our operational and technical teams’ solid performance at Jwaneng since 2011.

CIMIC Group Mining and Minerals Executive and Thiess Managing Director, Douglas Thompson, said: “I am pleased to be extending our long-term relationship with Debswana Diamond Company and Majwe, delivering scalable and innovative solutions that are tailored to our client’s production and expansion needs.”

Last month, Basil Read Mining Botswana, a wholly owned subsidiary of Basil Read Mining, entered into an agreement with Thiess Botswana and Bothakga Burrow Botswana to sell its 28% interest in the Majwe JV to the two firms.

Jwaneng, reportedly the richest diamond mine in the world by value, produces more than 10 Mct per year of diamonds.

The most recently completed Cut-8 project, which took the 2.5 km by 1.5 km mine from a depth of 400 m to 650 m, ensured continuous production until at least 2024.

Cut-9, meanwhile, is expected to extend the life of mine to 2035 and yield an estimated 53 Mct of rough diamonds from 44 Mt of treated material, Debswana said.

Debswana will invest approximately $2 billion over the life of the project, with the company’s shareholders approving the budget for 2019 so that the next phase of work can commence.

At its peak Cut-9 is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, the majority of which will be held by Batswana citizens.

The high level CEEP key performance indicators for the Cut-9 project include, but are not limited to the establishment of an Apprentice and Artisan Training Centre, a Component Rebuild Centre, which is expected to mature into a self-sustaining business within three years from the launch of the project, and additional local business development initiatives.

Basil Read subsidiary to sell out of Majwe Mining JV in Botswana

Basil Read Mining Botswana (BRMB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Basil Read Mining, has entered into an agreement with Thiess Botswana and Bothakga Burrow Botswana (BBB) to sell its 28% interest in the Majwe Mining joint venture to the two firms.

BRMB will sell 28 ordinary shares constituting 28% of the issued shares of Majwe for an amount of BWP85 million ($8.1 million) of which Thiess will acquire 10 ordinary shares and BBB will purchase 18 ordinary shares of the joint venture.

The joint venture dates to 2011 when entered into a pact with Leighton Botswana (later named Thiess Botswana) and BBB to bid for, and if successful, carry out the surface mining works project at Debswana’s Jwaneng diamond mine (pictured) Cut 8 contract mining project. On being awarded the contract in May 2011, the MMJV was incorporated.

The Cut 8 project was for a 66-month period ending in November 2016, but was extended through the addition of Cut 8.3, which ended on November 23, 2018.

In 2017, Debswana issued an expression of interest for the mining works project for the next stage of the Jwaneng mine development, known as the Cut 9 contract mining project. Majwe JV responded to this and was subsequently invited to submit a tender bid in February 2018.

Basil Read said the negotiations are still ongoing and at an advanced stage, with the project expected to commence this year.

The company said: “BRMB’s participation in the Cut 9 project would mean that BRMB continues being restricted from competing in Botswana as an independent entity, and thus limit its ability to unlock capital by growing and expanding its current business in Botswana.

“Participation in the Cut 9 project also requires the provision of both parent company and on-demand financial guarantees, further adding onerous obligations on BRMB. A call made on the guarantees would offset any returns from the project.

“Moreover, the shareholders of Majwe JV have been engaged in negotiations to increase the local citizen economic empowerment levels from the current 12% held by BBB up to 30% as per the tender requirement for the Cut 9 project. This will result in BRMB’s shareholding being diluted significantly.”

The company concluded: “Thus, the Basil Read group is of the view that the Majwe JV shareholding is a non-core asset. In our view, the required capital outlay can be used far more beneficially by funding the required plant and equipment replacements to pursue other opportunities for our mining business both in Botswana and elsewhere.”