Monday, October 26, 2020

Report highlights the mineral revolution in Botswana

Since the early 1980s, the mining industry has been the largest contributor to Botswana’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), contributing between 20 and 50 percent. This is according to a statistical report compiled by the national statistics agency ÔÇô Statistics Botswana.

Statistician General – Dr. Burton Mguni says mineral contributions enabled the Government to undertake investments in both human and physical infrastructure development over time.

Even though the mining sector’s contribution to GDP has been below 25 percent since the 2009 recession, available data indicates that the sector still leads in terms of value added contribution to GDP, according to the quarterly GDP reports produced by Statistics Botswana.

Here is how each respective mineral is performing so far according to the Statistics Botswana report.

DIAMOND ÔÇô

Diamond production increased by 15.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The increase came as a result of planned strategy to produce high quality grade in response to trading conditions. The quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects that diamond production increased by 10.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018.

COPPER ÔÇô

Copper in concentrates production declined by 26.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017. The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows that production declined by 75.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter of the same year. The decline in production is attributable to limited mining activities, following the provisional liquidation that took place in 2015 and the mine has to date not commenced full scale operations.

GOLD ÔÇô

Gold production increased by 5.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of 2017. The increase was as a result of higher than expected recoveries from the ores despite the reduced lifespan of the mine. The quarter-on-quarter analysis also shows an increase of 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter of the same year.

SODA ASH ÔÇô

Soda Ash production recorded positive year-on-year growth for the fourth consecutive quarter, increasing by 9.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the same quarter of 2017. The continued improvement in production may be attributable to the plant’s high efficiency following the plant refurbishment which occurred in 2017. The quarter-on-quarter analysis on the other hand, shows that production declined by 11.2 percent during the period under review.

SALT ÔÇô

Salt production recorded an increase of 37.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of 2017. The quarter-on-quarter comparison, shows an increase of 36.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the preceding quarter.

COAL ÔÇô

Coal production declined by 2.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows that coal production declined by 17.2 percent compared to the preceding quarter. Although production fell, it is important to note that there was no shortfall in supply of coal due to stockpiling.

COPPER NICKEL/SILVER ÔÇô

Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Matte and Silver recorded zero production during the period under review. The instability and uncertainty of commodity prices affected the operations of the involved mines, therefore finding it difficult to sustain themselves at the current prices, leading to the provisional liquidation of the concerned companies.

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