Sunday, May 29, 2022

Botswana projects a rise in Minerals revenue

Botswana expects to record an increase in revenue collected from the minerals sector during the year 2022. Minister responsible for Mineral Resources Lefoko Moagi said in Parliament that the diamond market is expected to perform better as restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 globally are slowly eased.

Moagi’s ministry project a total revenue for the financial year 2022/23 to reach Seventeen Billion, Eight Hundred and Twenty One Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand, Four Hundred Pula (P17,821,236,400). This represents an increase of 26 percent from the current year’s revised revenue budget of Fourteen Billion, One Hundred and Fifteen Million, Seven Hundred and Ten Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty Pula (P14, 115,710,920).

Looking back in 2021, Moagi shared with Parliament that due to the improved market conditions, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales (DBGSS) sold some US$3.8 Billion worth of rough diamonds compared to US$2.3 Billion in 2020. State owned – Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) also realized a significant increase in sales, selling US$963 million worth of rough diamonds in 2021 compared to US$207 million in 2020. Another key player, Lucara sold diamonds worth US$302 million in 2021 compared to US$107 million in 2020.

Moagi said during 2021, there were 23 companies operating cutting and polishing factories in the country, adding that these companies were supplied with some US$735 million worth of diamonds compared to only US$398 million in 2020.

He said however, because of the challenges presented by the Covid 19 pandemic, these companies were only able to polish a limited quantity of diamonds supplied to them under the existing arrangements for local supply.

On the jobs side, Moagi said that atleast 2242 people were employed representing a notable increase from the 2020 employment of 1927 people, of whom 82 percent were locals.

“Six new companies were issued cutting and polishing licenses during the year and these companies are at various stages of setting up operations with a view to start manufacturing during 2022,” said Moagi.

Going forward, the minerals Ministry has drafted a Policy to provide guiding principles for the development and growth of the Minerals sector, taking into account current and emerging issues.

At the same time, Botswana assumed the Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process for 2022 at the beginning of January. The chairmanship revolves among the participating countries on an annual basis. As the incumbent chair, Botswana is expected to host the Kimberley Process Intercessional meeting in June 2022 and a plenary session in November. The Kimberley Process, which is a UN mandated initiative, continues to play an important role in ensuring, through its certification system, and peer review mechanism that conflict diamonds do not enter the legitimate trade in rough diamonds.

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