Surging coal demands from China, India and southern Africa have bolstered Botswana’s mining potential, a senior government official told an international conference on coal mining on Thursday.
“Botswana coal is very much in demand.
In particular, the emerging economies of China and India have led the growth in demand for coal internationally and represent potential markets for Botswana coal,” said Akanyang Tombale, permanent secretary at the minerals and energy ministry.
He told the two-day conference that increasing power demands in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region “offers this country an opportunity to transform from a net importer of power to a net exporter leveraging on its coal resources.”
The planned expansion of the Morupule coal-fired Power Station Project and evaluation of coal-bed methane gas in several parts of Botswana are expected to increase the country’s coal production more than ten fold by 2012, he said.
More than 200 delegates from the US, Britain, Australia, India and southern Africa, representing firms seeking to invest in coal-related products, are participating in the conference.