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Sandfire Kalahari Copper Belt bulb lights up

An Australian copper miner Sandfire Resources’ dream of harvesting copper from the untapped zone of Kalahari Copper Belt lives on as Botswana’s anti-trust body has given it a go ahead to merge with local explorer MOD Resources which holds licenses for the much sought after area in the western part of this country.

MOD’s exploration projects in Botswana can be traced back as far as 2012 and the explorer secured extensions for key joint venture prospecting licenses covering the T3 copper project surrounding 950km², T3 expansion project in the Kalahari Copper Belt. MOD has garnered 11,700km2 of prospective copper and is currently active at six key projects designed to advance three resource development projects (T3 Pit, T3 Underground and T1 Underground).

The area of interest, the Kalahari Copper Belt, contains tons of copper and silver resources inside the 1,000-kilometre belt running, south west to north east and foreign companies are already pouring billions of Pula in investment. Sanfire’s takeover of MOD did not come any cheap, the Australian explorer had to pay the Botswana-focused copper dealer more than P1 billion in what was described by reports from Australia as “scrip and cash deal.” 

It is said Sandfire’s initial bid was turned down and the explorer had to up it from 0.38 Australian Dollars (A$) to A$0.45, a move by 18 percent. Initially the bid was said to be P630 million all-share takeover offer, but MOD Australia which is a parent company for the local explorer negotiating on the deal said, the offer from Sandfire was undervaluing the firm and its assets.

Sanfire Resources’ cornerstone asset is the high-grade, low cost DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine in Australia. The Australian company has an interest in the Black Butte copper project in Montana, USA.  Now Sandfire is aiming for the “highly prospective, dominant landholding on the underexplored Kalahari copper belt in Botswana.” According to information from the Australian bourse, combination of Sandfire and MOD will leverage the strengths of both companies to both optimize and de-risk development.

When owners of the Boseto mine, Discovery Metals Limited, dumped a project it had spent P1.75 billion on, US-based Cupric Canyon Capital found a treasure from the trash and purchased the mine. Boseto failed due to use of over-reliance on the unsustainable diesel generation which contributed to 35 percent of the mine’s operating costs.

An observer who spoke to this publication, has highlighted that unlike the failed Boseto and it use of energy, Sandfire has a very positive track record showing their commitment to the use of renewables and solar hybrid in mining activities like the use of solar hybrid at their de Grussa Copper mine in Western Australia. The Boseto mine, used 17.1 million liters of diesel in generating its electricity, spending P26 million monthly, leading to its mothball.

Sandfire’s descend on the Kalahari desert was made more possible this week by a decision by Competition Authority to let the Australian explorer merge with MOD Resources, the company holding the Botswana licenses. Competition Authority, in its adjudication found that the proposed transaction is not likely to result in the prevention or substantial lessening of competition, nor of endangering the continuity of the services offered in the relevant market.

Furthermore, no public interest concerns have been identified according to the Authority before it unconditionally approved the proposed acquisition of the entire issued share capital of MOD Resources Limited by Sandfire Resources NL. Competition Authority also reminded that its approval does not override or negate any other mandatory statutory approvals or processes that any of the parties to this merger must comply with under the laws of Botswana

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Business

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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