REPORT: KIMBERLEY SHUTS DOWN LERALA DIAMOND MINE
Botswana’s Lerala Mine has been shut down again: According to local reports, quoted by Mining Weekly, Kimberley Diamonds shut down the mine late last week “citing weak market conditions” and “leaving 130 workers unemployed”.
According to Botswana Mine Workers Union national organising coordinator, Abel Buka, the workers were notified of the move in a letter sent to them by Kimberley: “”The general manager engaged Kimberley on May 29, four days after workers were supposed to receive their salaries and he was told that the company had no money, so just close the mine and send the workers home”, Buka was quoted as saying to the local Mmegi Newspaper.
According to Mining Weekly, Lerala was shut down twice since it opened in 2008. Kimberley Diamonds expected to produce 360,000 carats from the mine over seven years.