Thursday, October 22, 2020

Coal and CBM exploration concentrated in Central and Kweneng districts

The latest (August 31, 2017) mineral concession map of energy shows that the Central and Kweneng districts are, in that order, seeing a super-concentration of exploration for coal and coalbed methane with three companies carrying out the most work.

The latter are Cam Bow Holdings, Discovery Metals Botswana and Gcwihaba Resources. Some companies (like Hamlin Capital in the North East and Q-Pene in Kgalagadi) dominate exploration work in particular districts. A unique pursuit is that of Ocean Ridge which holds six licences to prospect for uranium, an energy mineral that has been known to simultaneously and paradoxically bring both fortune and misfortune. A heavy metal which can be used as an abundant source of concentrated energy, uranium provides the explosive material for nuclear weapons. Discovery of uranium deposits will naturally cause the United States to tighten its grip on Botswana and in one respect that would mean ensuring that no political leader who might do business with what the west calls rogue nations ever becomes president.

All told, there are currently 53 companies that are prospecting for energy minerals, which are coal, coal bed methane, radioactive materials and uranium. Most of the licences are for coal and coalbed methane.

Interest in precious stones is even more intense with a total of 76 companies currently prospecting for such across the country. Back in the 1960s, only De Beers had interest in what the world had been led to believe was a hopeless poor African country. At independence in 1966, Botswana was the third poorest country in the world but De Beers’ discovery of diamonds brought the country into the spotlight. As at the end of August, some 76 companies were prospecting for precious stones across the country. Leading the pack with 47 concessions is a company called Manica Minerals. Much of this particular prospecting is concentrated in the eastern half of the country.

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