Diamond company De Beers announced that it will increase production levels at one of its remaining mines in South Africa by 33% over the next 24 months, Diamond Intelligence reports.
Voorspoed open-pit diamond mine manager Mpumi Zikalala said that production, which stands at 600,000 in 2012, will be racheted up by 150,000 carats next year, and by a further 50,000 carats the year after that, bringing the annual total to 800,000 by December 2014. Voorspoed, which only commenced operations in 2008, has produced more than 2 million carats thus far and is expected to produce another 8 million carats over the next eight to twelve years.
Infrastructural improvements, including better roads and more modern equipment, will facilitate the production increase. By spending almost $21 million on heavy earth-moving equipment, De Beers will be able to improve throughput from the open pit to the ore processing plant, Zikalala said.