Botswana-based Debswana Diamond has announced plans to halt operations at its Damtshaa diamond mine due to weak market conditions.

The company also plans to reduce production at its Orapa No.1 Mine for the next three years.

Debswana is a 50/50 joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana Government.

The news follows De Beers’ announcement made recently on halting operations at its unprofitable Snap Lake diamond mine located 220km north-east of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

The company placed the mine on care and maintenance due to weak diamond prices.

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Earlier, Debswana had forecast production of 22 million carats for 2015 from Damtshaa mine, but later revised it to 21 million.

In addition, the mine will be put on care and maintenance for up to three years.

"The mine will be put on care and maintenance for up to three years."

Debswana Diamond spokesperson Esther Kanaimba-Senai told The Southern Times that production at Orapa mine plant 1 will be reduced to around one million carats a year.

This is aimed at maintaining plant readiness in a bid to increase production at the mine.

The Damtshaa diamond mine is located in Botswana, 220km west of Francistown city and is the newest of four mines operated by the company. It officially opened on 25 October 2003.

During that period, the mine produced 292,000 carats.

Damtshaa is also managed from the Orapa mine, and is included in Orapa’s and Letlhakane’s safety and environmental programmes.

Image: Debswana plans to scale down production at its Orapa No.1 Mine in Botswana. Photo: courtesy of Debswana.