Tlou Energy Limited, a Botswana Stock Exchange listed company focused on delivering power in Botswana and Southern Africa through the exploration and development of coal bed methane (CBM) natural gas says its drilling operations to expose the underground resources are on good progress, positioning the company in good place to becoming the first of its kind in Southern Africa.
In their 2019 third quarter operations report released this week, Tlou reported that their Lesedi 3 and 4 projects achieved initial sustained gas flows of approximately 20 thousand standard cubic feet per day (Mcfd) from each pod. Gas flow rates are anticipated to increase steadily as the coals become gas saturated. The report states that drilling has commenced in the Mamba project area with the objective of providing valuable data required for the expansion of the Company’s gas Reserves and Contingent Resources.
According to Tlou Directors during the quarter the Company's operations made excellent progress with the Lesedi gas production pods having achieved sustained gas production rates. Following completion of the first phase of production testing, including initial dewatering, reaching critical gas desorption point and commencing gas production, the pods commenced producing sustained gas flows.
Company Directors say the initial rates of approximately 20 thousand standard cubic feet per day (Mcfd) from each pod are a good start. “This was an excellent start and we are very encouraged by production data to date. Gas production is continuing and, as with most new CBM developments the rate is anticipated to continue increasing following further reduction of pressure in the coal and additional dewatering, with the aim to reach a peak and commercial gas flow rate as soon as possible”
The current stage of production involves maintaining pressure on the reservoir to further reduce water production, so that the lateral wells become gas saturated, rather than water saturated. This is followed by reducing pressure in the wells to the desired level which, once achieved, is usually expected to significantly increase the gas flows from the wells. “This is a metholodical and detailed process, it takes time to achieve, we will update the market on further progress in due course,” said Tlou Directors.
The company further says with CBM project not yet established in the Southern African Region, Tlou could pioneer CBM development in the area. “Successful results from this project could potentially facilitate the opening up of a whole new CBM basin in Botswana and be a significant boost not only for Tlou, but for the whole region, with the potential for Tlou to supply power within Botswana and also into neighboring countries via the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP)”
In 2018 the Company submitted a tender to Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security for the Development of a CBM-fuelled power plant in Botswana and was subsequently selected as a preferred bidder for this proposal. If successful, the negotiations will result in Tlou agreeing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Government of Botswana, whereby Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), the national electricity utility in Botswana, would purchase the power produced by Tlou at the Lesedi project for distribution into its nation grid supply.
“The tender negotiations are confidential and are being led by the government of Botswana. The government has confirmed its commitment to the development of CBM-fuelled pilot power plants and is in the process of sourcing an advisor to assist them in tender negotiations,” shared company directors. Since establishment, Tlou Energy has significantly de-risked its project in consideration of its goal to become a significant gas-to-power producer.
The Company flared its first gas in 2014 and has a 100% interest over its Mining Licence and ten Prospecting Licences covering an area of ~9,300 Km2 in total. The Lesedi and Mamba Projects already benefit from significant independently certified 2P gas Reserves of ~41 BCF. In addition, 3P gas Reserves of ~427 BCF and Contingent Gas Resources of ~3,043 BCF provide significant additional potential.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.