Balisi Bonyongo named new Debswana MD

Mr. Balisi Bonyongo

Mr. Balisi Bonyongo

The shareholders of Debswana Diamond Company (Pty) Limited (Debswana), a 50/50 joint venture between Botswana government and De Beers, have appointed Balisi Mohumi Bonyongo, currently Chief Operations Officer, to take over as the company’s Managing Director when James Kitchener Gowans’ tenure ends on 31st December 2013.

Gowans was appointed as Managing Director on 1st January 2011 on a three year contract with a mandate to optimise and position Debswana’s operations for continued profitability and growth.

The Board of Debswana acknowledges the significant progress accomplished by Gowans to improve the Company’s operational performance and skills capacity during his tenure. This has placed Debswana in a strong position from which to implement its Long-Term Resource Development Plan, which has been recently finalised and approved by the Board.

Bonyongo has worked for Debswana for 20 years in various professional and leadership capacities, including Commissioning Manager of the Aquarium Project at Jwaneng Mine, Corporate Strategy Manager at Debswana Head Office and Jwaneng Mine General Manager. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree from Leeds University, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town.

The Board and Shareholders would like to thank Gowans for his notable contribution to Debswana’s continued success and to also wish Bonyongo well as he takes over as Managing Director with effect from 1st January 2014.

Philippe Mellier, Debswana Board Deputy Chairman said as Board members, it is our responsibility to ensure that we maximise the value of every diamond we produce not only for the company, but importantly for the benefit of the people of Botswana. “Balisi will be tasked with ensuring that Debswana’s mines continue to be among the best-managed anywhere in the world,” said Mellier.

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