Thursday 26 February 2015

The Ghaghoo Diamond Mine, Botswana

The Ghaghoo diamond mine was officially opened in 2014 by the president of Botswana. It is held by Gem Diamonds Botswana, which holds a 25-year mining licence.

'Ghaghoo' is the name of a locally abundant camel thorn acacia tree, and is the name historically used by locals to refer to the area, before geological exploration teams arrived over thirty years ago, renaming the area 'Gope' - literally translated meaning 'nowhere'.
The Ghaghoo mine is situated in the south-east portion of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The mine is expected to reach its designed throughput of 720 000 tons per year in 2015.

Total resources are estimated at 20.53 million carats with an in-situ value of US$ 4.9 billion.
One of the most difficult tasks to overcome was mining through approximately 80 vertical meters of sand overburden before reaching the competent country rock.

Botswana’s government has always denied that diamonds were the reason for the evictions of the Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve between 1997 and 2005 – one of its claims was to protect the wildlife.
Lord Jones said in 2004, “Survival International continue to allege that the Bushmen have been forced off their lands because of diamonds."

The Kalahari Bushmen have lived sustainably alongside the reserve’s wildlife for generations but continue to face persecution in the name of conservation. Bushmen caught hunting to feed their families are arrested, beaten and tortured.