De Beers' South Africa Flagship Diamond Mine Grows Deeper
Standard Bank appointed as lead financing provider for the conversion of the Venetia Mine from open pit to underground
Standard Bank Group has provided R4 billion of a R10 billion syndicated debt funding package required by De Beers Group for the biggest single investment in South Africa’s diamond industry and one of the largest mining investment projects currently underway in the Africa.
As one of the financers, Standard Bank was responsible for the largest debt funding allocation, providing a revolving credit facility to help South Africa’s leading diamond mine fund the completion of its strategic Underground Project. Venetia mine, first opened in 1992, is De Beers Group’s flagship operation in South Africa, and is situated 80km from Musina (formerly Messina) in Limpopo Province.
“This is a huge investment by De Beers that will convert the mine from an open pit to an underground operation, and ultimately extend its life to at least 2047,” says Kesh Ramlakun, Corporate Financing Solutions Manager. “Our appointment by De Beers gives us the opportunity to leverage our specialist knowledge within the mining industry built on an extensive track record, insights and capabilities across the continent.
“In addition to our depth of technical capabilities, we have a strong commitment to support clients with strategic growth initiatives across all industries, including mining” says Ramlakun.
The mine is South Africa’s largest diamond producer, and with the conversion to underground mining, the site expects to maintain production at around 4 million carats per annum.
Moses Madondo, Managing Director of De Beers Group Managed Operations said, “During the project phase, Venetia mine has created approximately 3,000 jobs, of which about 1,700 are occupied by our local community members. As part of our focus on local employment, for every job on the mine we aim to create 5 jobs in our communities, by 2030.
“The mining sector has a crucial role to play in laying the foundation for sustainable communities. As De Beers Group, we recognise this, and are proud to have collaborated with Standard Bank in not only ensuring that we deliver a technologically advanced underground mine but also realising our goal of creating a positive lasting impact to our host communities.”