Four small diamond pipes (B/K1, B/K9, B/K12 and B/K 15) were discovered between 1967 and 1972 in an area 20km east of the Orapa Kimberlite pipe. These pipes were grouped to form the Damtshaa Mine and are managed, along with Letlhakane Mine, from the Orapa operation. Damtshaa has been forecast to yield 5 million carats from 39 million tons of ore that are to be mined over the 31 year projected life of mine. 303 319 carats were recovered at Damtshaa in 2014.
Damtshaa mine was officially opened on the 25th October 2003 by the then Vice President of Botswana Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama who stated,” The Damtshaa mine is the latest addition to the strengthening and consolidation of our position as the leading nation in diamond production.”
Commissioning of Damtshaa Mine was carried out in the fourth quarter of 2002, with the first head feed load recorded on 28th October 2002. Production build up commenced with full production reached in March 2003. The carat profile for Damtshaa Mine is not smooth through the years due to the varying grades of the different rock types in the pits. This has resulted in an average of 0,161million carats per annum.
The mine has been incorporated to the Orapa & Letlhakane Mines safety and environmental programmes, and hence it is ISO14001 certified. It has thus far been audited twice by the SABS Surveillance Audit Team and confirmed to be compliant to ISO14001 requirements. An impressive feat for Damtshaa mine noted in 2004 is that in the two years that it has been operational, there have been no accidents involving employees being booked off sick.