Former Managing Director of Debswana, Blackie Marole, has been appointed Chairman of the African Energy Resources Botswana, which is a 100 percent subsidiary of African Energy Resources.
According to information from the Australian-listed company, Marole’s appointment is with immediate effect.
It would appear like African Energy Resources is appointing a person of Marole’s caliber as a way of positioning itself ahead of what promises to be an exciting time as the company starts efforts to extract the coal deposit discovered in Sese near Tonota.
The Sese coal project contains a resource of over 2.7 billion tonnes of energy coal, which is suitable for local and regional demand.
The company is also talking of processing the find with the view of exporting to the world market, notably China and India, where appetite for coal has been on the rise.
Marole left Debswana last year with his contract still to run for a full five years.
He has previously worked for the Government of Botswana as Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Minerals and Energy Resources).
It is believed that when he left Debswana, Marole received a handsome handshake from the shareholders ÔÇô De Beers and Botswana Government.
The wealth of knowledge and experience gained from previously held executive positions, including government experience will no doubt prove handy in the months ahead when his new company will be engaging in long and protracted negotiations with the Government of Botswana.
Under his new portfolio he will be expected to provide strategic leadership and guidance to the company in the execution of the Sese project.
The Managing Director of African Energy Resources, Frazer Tabeart, says the company is close to completing a Concept Study, which has evaluated a staged approach to the development of the project.
“To attract a person of Blackie Marole’s stature is a great testament to the quality of Sese coal project and its people, but it also marks the start of a new chapter in the development of Botswana’s vast coal resources, which could bring great economic benefit to the country,” said Tabeart.
African Energy, which is currently listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, is seeking a dual listing in Botswana, paving the way for direct ownership in the company by citizen investors.
The first stage of the Sese project, slated for commencement in mid 2013 would consist of a relatively small operation extracting around 1 million tonnes of coal a year and selling washed product into regional markets, potentially expanding over a 2-3 year period into a much larger operation, producing 4-5 million tonnes of product for domestic and regional markets and for export.