Debswana Diamond has launched a multi-billion dollar Cut-8 extension project at its Jwaneng mine in Botswana.

The company will invest $500m in capital expenditure and the estimated project investment is likely to total $3bn over the next 15 years.

The investment will include feasibility, design, implementation and mining operations, as well as the cost of plant and equipment.

Debswana is a joint venture between the Government of Botswana and the South African diamond company De Beers.

According to De Beers, the Cut-8 extension project is the largest single investment in the history of Debswana and the country’s mining industry.

The construction project is expected to completed by the end of 2011.