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De Beers Diamond Miner and South African Energy Department Clash Over Limpopo Mine Closure

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

A complex stand-off has unfolded between global diamond mining giant, De Beers, and South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources & Energy, regarding the "responsible" closure of De Beers' former mine in Limpopo, a site untouched for nearly 15 years.

At the fore of this quarrel is the department's insistence on the complete backfilling of the now-dormant open-pit Oaks Mine. De Beers steadily rejects the demand and terms it 'unreasonable'. The company's stance emanates from the staggering cost associated with the backfilling procedure, which it estimates to loom well over R200 million.

Furthermore, De Beers cites the remoteness of the Oaks Mine location, arguing it presents zero danger to surrounding communities or the environment. De Beers, renowned as the world's leading diamond producer, is challenging the department’s demand based on both economic and geographical circumstances, thus leading to a complex negotiation the results of which will influence future mining regulations and policies in South Africa.

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