Monday, October 18, 2021

Here is how the mining sector performed in Q2:2021

While in 2020 mining production in Botswana recorded its worst contraction in more than a decade – another sign of the havoc caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the same cannot be said about 2021 thus far.

According to Statistics Botswana’s recently released index of the physical volume of mining production for the second quarter of 2021 (Q2:2021), mining production index stood at 85.6 during Q2:2021, showing a year-on-year growth of 185.6 percent, from 30.0 registered during the second quarter of 2020. The main contributor to the increase in mining production came from the diamonds sector, which contributed 185.7 percentage points while Soda Ash was the only negative contributor at -0.5 of a percentage point. Here is a further breakdown according Statistics Botswana.

Diamonds

Diamond production increased by 202.7 percent during the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The increase was substantial as it is in comparison to the period where there were COVID-19 restrictions that ended in a complete lockdown during the second quarter of 2020. Another factor contributing to the increase is the planned strategy to align production with strong trading conditions strengthened by rising consumer demand in the key markets following the easing of COVID19 restrictions. Similarly, the quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that production registered an increase of 15.6 percent during the second quarter of 2021 compared to the preceding quarter. Gold production increased by 5.2 percent during the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Similarly, quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects that production increased by 7.0 percent during the second quarter of 2021, compared to the preceding quarter. The increase was as a result of higher than expected recoveries from the ore despite the deteriorating lifespan of the mine.

Soda Ash

Soda Ash production decreased by 14.7 percent during the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Similarly, the quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that production decreased by 19.1 percent during the period under review.

Salt

Salt production increased by 1.3 percent during the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Similarly, the quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that salt production registered an increase of 35.1 percent during the period under review.

The black diamond – Coal

Coal production increased by 31.6 percent during the second quarter of 2021, compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The considerable increase was realised as comparison is made to the period where there was complete lockdown in the second quarter of 2020. The increase was necessitated by improvement in the coal offtake as well as the stability of boiler efficiency at Morupule Power Stations. On the other hand, the quarter-on-quarter comparison shows that coal production decreased by 6.0 percent.

Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Matte

Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Matte, Copper Concentrates and Silver recorded zero production during the period under review. The affected mines are still under provisional liquidation as mining operations could not be sustained.

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