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A-Cap Energy shelves Letlhakane Uranium Project to 2021

The Letlhakane Uranium Project (LUP) has postponed the construction of its proposed mine to 2021 due to depressed uranium prices on the global market.  The LUP, owned by Australian-based A-Cap Energy Limited said it request to postpone the project had been approved by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology in August 2019.

LUP is one of the largest undeveloped uranium deposits in the world.  “The depressed uranium price has necessitated an amendment to the planned forecast whereby A-Cap would commence construction activities and enter production,”Angang Shen, A-Cap chairperson said in the company’s 2019 annual report released this week.  “The Botswana Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (the Minister) approved a request from A-Cap to delay the pre-construction and construction period by two years to October 2021, which more closely aligns with the forecasted improved uranium prices.

“The Minister approved the Company’s requested amendment on 20 August 2019. A-Cap ensures as a key priority full compliance with all the requirements of the mining licence to ensure continued good standing, including defining the boundary of the mining licence with beacons, clearing and demarcation and report submission in a timely manner,” he said. Shen said the project had all the major infrastructure in place and was adjacent to Botswana’s main North-South infrastructure corridor, that includes the A1 Highway, railway line and the national power grid.

“The Company were granted a mining Licence (ML 2016/16L) for the Letlhakane Uranium Project effective from 12 September 2016 by the Botswana Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, which is valid for a period of 22 years.  “The mining licence was granted on the back of a technical study and financial modelling of a shallow open pit mine and heap leach operation to produce up to 3.75 million pounds of uranium p.a. over an 18-year mine life,” said Shen.

However, the depressed uranium prices have forced the shelving of the project to October 2021 pending an increase in uranium prices. “The Botswana Letlhakane Uranium Project has been largely put on hold pending an increase in uranium prices. The strategy referred to in last year’s annual report was to diversify into other commodities, and your company’s move into battery related minerals, specifically nickel and cobalt, is in line with our energy related strategy. Both of the Company’s projects are situated in stable countries which is necessary for high tonnage, long life projects,” said Shen in his notice to shareholders.

He said numerous marketing studies clearly spell out the future of the uptake of electric vehicles throughout the world. “Batteries required to power these vehicles are made in mega-factories which are currently coming into production or are about to come on-line. Almost exclusively, these factories are being built to make lithium ion battery cells using two chemistries: nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) and nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA),” said Shen.

“Late 2017, the board of directors resolved to diversify its minerals portfolio and expand its energy focus to not just the Letlhakane Uranium Project, but also cathode materials production and supply to the battery industry,” he added.  An acid consumption study on the Letlhakane Uranium Project was completed at the end of the 2018.  “The study focused on improving project economics by way of reducing acid consumption and acid costs, which comprise a significant amount of the project’s CAPEX. The optimisation studies identified that savings of up to 26 percent in acid consumption was possible.

“The next phase of optimisation work has been defined, the board will manage the staged optimisation works in line with our timetable to production as set out in the mining licence, which was obtained in September 2016 for a period of 22 years,” said Shen. “The Company’s Letlhakane Uranium Project located in Botswana remains an important project asset within the diversified mineral strategy. While the nuclear industry is confident in the long-term fundamentals of uranium and nuclear power, there is less certainty in the short term with industry expectation that the market will gradually move towards balance from calendar year 2023.”

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Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTN’s evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in  which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.

Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that  the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution  said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.

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