De Beers Commits $2.3 Billion to Expand Diamond Mine

De Beers SA, the diamond producer 85 percent owned by Anglo American Plc, plans to invest about 20 billion rand ($2.3 billion) to build an underground diamond mine beneath its existing Venetia open-pit operation in South Africa.

The investment will extend Venetia’s economic life until 2042 and eventually replace the open pit as South Africa’s largest diamond mine, the company said today in a statement. De Beers received regulatory approvals earlier this month, according to the statement.

Construction of the mine will create about 1,000 jobs, De Beers said. It forecasts underground output to begin in 2021, yielding about 96 million carats during the mine’s life.

The Republic of Botswana owns 15 percent of closely held De Beers, according to the statement.

Anglo American, based in London, is scheduled to release its latest earnings tomorrow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Donville in Vancouver at cjdonville@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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