Monday, July 15, 2024

It’s a mine boom in Botswana

At least three mines are expected to opened between this year and 2026, Botswana Mining and Energy Conference heard on Wednesday.

“Botswana has a lot of minerals. And to sustain our economy going forward these minerals need to be developed,” chief executive officer of Chamber of Mines, Charles Siwawa said.

“We have significant resources of coal,” he added.

The news on line are: Tlou Energy which is developing a 10 MW plant which will connected to BPC grind in Serowe village. The company is intending to gradually extend it to between 100 t0 200 MW and it will focus gas-fired power

“In two years or so A-Cap should be in operating its uranium mine in the Central District,” he added.

He said Jindal which is building a 300 MW power plant “ and we expect it in about two years,” he said.

The Asian outfit is also involved in raft of local and regional programmes including the development of the mine, building of 300 MW power plant at the sites and coal washing plant—that will be connected to Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) grid—and acquisition of railway line to Nakala seaport in Mozambique.

Further, Botswana and South African governments have committed themselves to build a 75 kilometers railway-line that will connect Mmamabula to the small town of Lephalala in Limpopo Province – northern parts of South Africa.

Siwawa praised Morupole Colliery Mine for being able to penetrate the international markets. Morupole is a land linked area, and is able to used railway-line to the north through Zimbabwe to Mozambique seaports for their export to Europe. And last year, it exported around 500,000 tonnes to South Africa- which it expected to push the volumes to 1.2 million tonnes this year.

South Africa’s coal resources are getting depleted. The country is facing a serious problem of power black-outs which are also attributed to the aged plants.

Siwawa also indicated the Minergy in Masala coal fields also did well.

Minergy is a very successful story they managed to beat their South African competitors because they are an open cast. The South African mines are doing underground mining and it is becoming more expensive for them to compete.

They beat the South African mines in terms of pricing,” Siwawa said.

He also hailed BPC for extending their power transmission to the Kgalagadi copper-belt which reduced the costs of operating Sandfire Mine -near Ghantsi -and Khoumacau Mine – north of Maun.

Minerals Development Company Botswana’s (MDCB’s), chief executive officer, Matome Malema, said his company is agile and  has “global investment focus” that enables it to invest in known mining  countries.

“We will however focus on the local investment arena whilst building the capacity and track-record for regional and international investments,” he said.

“MDCB will remain commodity agnostic, investing across all commodities subject to the sustainability and viability of the investment,” Malema said.

“We believe that significant potential for creating a vibrant steel industry in Botswana through and more aggressive focus on the synergistic potential of iron ore, lime stone, and vast coal reserves,” he added.

In Ikongwe- a small village near Shoshong has one of the best iron ore reserves measure as having 65 percent iron contentment. Anything above 60 percent iron content is considered good for steelmaking. The project mouth-balled when international steel prices slumped.

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