(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The De Beers Group of Companies and received via
electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
Johannesburg, 14 February 2013: The De Beers Group of Companies
announced today that it will invest approximately R20 billion
(US$2 billion) to build a new underground mine beneath the
currently operating open pit Venetia Mine in Limpopo Province.
When completed, the new underground mine will extend the life of
Venetia until 2042 and replace the open pit as South Africa’s
largest diamond mine.  This announcement follows the receipt of
the final outstanding regulatory clearances earlier this month. 
The development and build phase of the underground mine is
expected to create 1,000 jobs over the next nine years while
open pit mining operations continue. Underground operations will
begin production in 2021, yielding approximately 96 million
carats during the life of the mine, and securing more than 3,000
jobs. The project will employ semi-skilled and skilled workers,
drawn primarily from the region and trained for the project;
mostly acquiring technical skills that will enhance the
country’s technical skill resource base. The bulk of all
equipment and services will be sourced in South Africa.
Philippe Mellier, CEO of the De Beers Group commented, “Our
investment in Venetia enables us to provide greater certainty
around long-term supply for our Sightholders, particularly those
with manufacturing operations in South Africa. Our Sightholders
have significant investments in the local cutting industry and
this new underground mine will provide a large and predictable
supply of rough diamonds for decades to come.
Mr Mellier continued, “It is fitting that De Beers is
celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. From our founding
in Kimberley in 1888 to today’s announcement at Venetia, South
Africa has always been the ancestral heart of De Beers. It is
gratifying that today’s announcement means that De Beers will
remain South Africa’s leading diamond company until at least our
150th anniversary.” 
Barend Petersen, Chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM)
commented, “We see this significant capital investment as
another concrete example of our commitment to the South African
mining industry, an industry on which the South African economy
was built following the discovery of diamonds in 1866. Almost
150 years later, the country is a diverse economy, while mining
remains an integral part of the aspiration to build a more
prosperous and equitable South Africa.” 
Phillip Barton, CEO of DBCM stated, “The De Beers Venetia
Underground project team have been assessing the safest and most
economic options to extend the mining operations at Venetia
Mine, and unlock the extensive ore reserves beneath the open
pit. Venetia will play a major role in the future of De Beers
and we have therefore been preparing for years to meet tight
deadlines and high standards so that Venetia Underground is
ready to begin producing South African diamonds by 2021.” 
The Venetia Mine underground project was approved in 2012 by the
De Beers and Anglo American Boards. Environmental authorisation
was granted in July 2012, and the Environmental Management Plan
was approved by the Department of Mineral Resources in October.
The final outstanding regulatory clearances were obtained
earlier this month. 
Ownership of De Beers: 85 percent Anglo American plc group and
15 percent Republic of Botswana 
In South Africa, De Beers operates through De Beers Consolidated
Mines (DBCM), a 74/26 Black Economic Empowerment (BEE)
partnership with Ponahalo Holdings. DBCM manages Venetia Mine,
Voorspoed Mine and the Kimberley tailings dumps, and is in the
process of selling Namaqualand Mines and the Rooipoort Mining
Right to consortiums with strong BEE credentials. 
Tom Tweedy
O: +27 (0)11 374 7173 / 7566
M: +27 (0)83 308 0083 
Lynette Gould
O: +44 (0) 207 430 3509
M: +44 (0) 7740 393260 
About De Beers Group of Companies
De Beers is a member of the Anglo American plc group.
Established in 1888, De Beers is the world’s leading diamond
company with unrivalled expertise in the exploration, mining and
marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners,
De Beers employs more than 23,000 people across the diamond
pipeline, and is the world’s largest diamond producer, by value,
with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South
Africa.  As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the
people of De Beers are committed to Living up to Diamonds by
making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they
live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared
national wealth. For further information about De Beers visit 
(bjh) NY 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.