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Fluor wins Khoemacau EPCM

Global engineering group Flour Corporation on Tuesday announced another major mining development contract in Botswana. Canyon Capital a company developing the Khoemacau Copper & Silver projects has awarded the American conceived giant Engineering  Procurement & Construction Management (EPCM)  services for it’s over P5 billion mining undertaking aimed at  unearthing the base metals for the next 21 years.

Fluor booked the undisclosed contract value in the second quarter of 2019.According to the New York Stock Exchange Listed multinational engineering outfit the contract follows a successfully working relationship after they worked with Canyon Capital on the first phase of preliminary and cost determinacy designs.

“We worked closely with Cupric Canyon in the project’s front-end engineering and design phase to establish a capital-efficient design and execution plan for the project,” said Tony Morgan President of Fluor’s Mining & Metals Business in a statement released from Irving Texas United States on Tuesday.

Fluor was also involved in construction management of the early works for the camp upgrade, bush clearing, transport corridor and surface infrastructure terrace preparation. In this next phase of intense mining infrastructure designs and reconfigurations Fluor’s scope entails upgrading the existing copper concentrator plant and new mine surface infrastructure.

The project is expected to produce an annual average of 62,000 metric tons of copper and 1.9 million ounces of silver with a life of mine in excess of 20 years. “We will leverage our local capabilities and extensive copper experience to execute the Khoemacau project with excellence, safely, on time, on budget and with quality,” added Morgan.

Engineering, Procurement, & Construction Management (EPCM) Contracts arrangement are common set ups used in mega industrial projects where a significant number of trade contactors are involved. On an EPCM contract the client employs the necessary trade contractors to construct the works. The EPCM 'contractor' designs the project, and then acts as a construction manager, coordinating the procurement process and then managing the trade contractors.

Effectively they are performing the role of a consultant during the construction phase. An EPCM contractor is not directly involved in the building and construction of the project, but is rather responsible for the detailed design and overall management of the project, on behalf of the owner or principal.

The EPCM contractor is mandated with ensuring that the engineering and design of the project is in compliance with the projects technical and functional specifications. Supervising, management and coordinating construction interface in accordance with a detailed schedule is the key responsibility of the EPCM contractor. When a need arises during the tenure of the project the EPCM contractor takes full responsibility of   establishing contractual arrangements on behalf of the owner with other contractors, vendors, sub-contractors and sub-vendors, through a tender process.

Flour Corporation raking 164 on the Global fortune 500 company’s scale, at an annual revenue of around $20billion established an office in Botswana in 2015 and has managed and delivered one of the country’s major projects. In September 2012 the company completed Jwaneng Mine expansion works, an over P3.5 billion project that delivered Cut 8. The Jwaneng Cut 8 was an over P24 billion mining investment that boosted mine’s lifespan from 2017 to 2024. Debswana has since commenced Cut 9, an over P15 billion project that will take Jwaneng to 2034.

During expansion into Cut 8 Fluor performed engineering, procurement, and construction management services for associated relocation and rebuilding of the mine surface infrastructure and completed the project in September 2012.Cut 8  enabled  the removal of overburden to allow the mine to access 91 million tonnes of ore that will yielding 102 million carats of diamonds until and 2024 .The P24 billion  Cut 8 project was and still remains  the largest ever single capital commitment in Botswana’s private sector.

The Khoemacau Copper & Silver Project is located in the North East of Botswana in the Ngamiland district, the project encompasses Kalahari Copper belt and the Bosetu Resource, the latter was acquired from Australian  Based Discovery Metal after insolvency in 2013.Early this year by Cupric Canyon Capital announced the successful signing of US$565 million (around P 5.9 billion) capital injection, as funding package to commence development of the Khoemacau project to unearth high grade copper and silver concentrate.

The US$565 million of funding comprised  a US$275 million (P2.9 billion) senior debt facility from Red Kite Mine Finance and a US$265 million (P2.8 billion) silver stream from Royal Gold AG a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Gold, and a US$25 million (P263 million) subordinated debt facility also from Royal Gold.

During funding announcement Chief Executive Officer of Cupric Canyon Capital Johan Ferreira explained that the deal was expected to be closed in the 2nd quarter of 2019 opening giving way for second phase of construction which is expected to run for two years pushing the Starter Project to produce first sellable concentrate beginning in the first half of 2021, with subsequent ramp-up.

Flour‘s EPCM contract is also noted to included overseeing the upgrade of existing Expansion Project pre-feasibility study to a definitive feasibility study.

The Expansion Project includes the construction of a new 5.8 million tonnes per annum processing facility near Zone 5 which will produce approximately 100,000 tonnes of copper per annum. Founded in 1912, Flour Corporation is a global engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction and maintenance company that transforms the world by building prosperity and empowering progress. Fluor serves its clients by designing, building and maintaining safe, well executed, capital-efficient projects around the world. With headquarters in Irving, Texas, Fluor ranks 164 on the Fortune 500 list with revenue of $19.2 billion in 2018 and has more than 53,000 employees worldwide.

Head of Mining Base Metal Business at Flour Torny Morgan says his company has worked in Botswana since the early 2000s and opened an office in Gaborone in 2015. “From Gaborone, we deliver safety, cost-competitive innovations and execution excellence to clients. Fluor conducts business in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner, and the Botswana office provides local employment opportunities and supplier and skills development.” He said.

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The  Bulb World CEO selected for Africa’s prestigious award

22nd July 2021

The Bulb World Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and entrepreneur, Ketshephaone Jacob has been selected as a 2021 Top 50 Africa’s Business Hero.

Jacob was chosen from a pool of 12,000 applicants – many of whom are highly-skilled and accomplished entrepreneurs.

Africa’s Business Hero, sponsored by technology entrepreneur, Jack Ma, aims to identify, support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities, working to solve the most pressing problems, and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.

The initiative is as inclusive as possible and applications were open in English and French to entrepreneurs from all African countries, all sectors, and all ages who operate businesses formally registered and headquartered in an African country, and that have a 3 year-track record.

Every year, finalists are selected to compete in the ABH finale pitch competition and participate in a TV Show that will be broadcast online and across the continent.

The finalists will compete for a share of US $1.5 million in grant money.

The Bulb World, is home grown LED light manufacturing company, which was partly funded by Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) at the tune of P4 million, to manufacture LED lighting bulbs for both commercial and residential use in 2017.

The Bulb World operate from the Special Economic Zone of Selibe Phikwe. Early this year, The BulB World announced its expansion to South Africa, setting in motion its ambitious Africa expansion plan.

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Mining production down 12 % IN Q1 2021

14th July 2021

During the first quarter of 2021, production in Botswana’s economic nucleus- the mining sector contracted by 12 percent. This is according to Mining Production Index released by Statistics Botswana this week.

The country’s central data body revealed that Index of Mining production stood at 74.4 during the first quarter of 2021, showing a negative year on-year growth of 12.0 percent, from 84.6 registered during the first quarter of 2020.

The main contributor to the decline in mining production came from the Diamonds sector, which contributed negative 11.7 percentage points. Soda Ash was the only positive contributor in the mining production, contributing 0.1 of a percentage point. However Soda Ash’s contribution was insignificant to offset the negative contribution made by Diamonds.

The quarter-on-quarter analysis by Statistics Botswana experts shows an increase of 16.3 percent from the index of 64.0 during the fourth quarter of 2020 to 74.4 observed during the period under review.

Diamond production decreased by 12.1 percent during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The decrease was as a result of planned strategy to align production with weaker trading conditions mostly linked to Covid-19 protocols restrictions.

Botswana’s diamond sector is underpinned by Debswana, the country’s flagship rough producer- a 50-50 joint venture between government and global mining giant De Beers Group. The other producer is Canadian based Lucara Diamond Corp through its wholly owned Karowe Mine which is a relatively small but significant production that has made a name for itself worldwide with rare diamond recoveries of unprecedented carat size.

On the other hand, quarter-on quarter analysis shows that production has improved, registering a positive growth of 17.5 percent during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the preceding quarter – 2020 Q4.

Though production was significantly lower in the first quarter, the two producers ended Q2 with rare diamond recoveries. Debswana early last month found the world’s third largest gem diamond – weighing 1098 carat at Jwaneng Mine, its flagship gem quality diamonds producer, also regarded the world’s richest diamond mine.

A week later Lucara  announced its second biggest recovery, the 1174 carat clivage near-gem dug from its Karowe Mine. The diamond is the world third in carat size after the plus-3000 carat Cullinan found in South Africa back in 1905 and the 1758 carat Sewelo unearthed at its Karowe mine in 2019. Debswana and Lucara are investing billions of pulas in underground mining projects to extend the life of its mines, Jwaneng & Karowe respectively.

In terms of Gold which is produced at Mupani mine near Botswana’s second city of Francistown output decreased by 17.9 percent during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

Similarly, quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects that production decreased by 21.4 percent during the first quarter of 2021, compared to the preceding quarter. The decrease was as a result of the deteriorating lifespan of the mine as well as the impact of COVID-19 which slowed down the mining activities.

Soda Ash production increased by 11.1 percent during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. In terms of quarter-on-quarter Soda Ash production also showed an increase, picking up by 2.1 percent during the period under review. The increase in production is attributable to the effectiveness of the plant following refurbishment which occurred in the third quarter of 2020.

Salt production decreased by 34.0 percent during the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Similarly, the quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that salt production registered a decrease of 32.9 percent during the period under review. Both salt and Sodash are produced by partly government owned Botswana Ash (BotsAsh) operating from Sowa town near Makgadikgadi pans.

Coal production decreased by 11.2 percent during the first quarter of 2021, compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The decrease was attributed to the reduced demand from Morupule B Power Station following the remedial works being undertaken, as one boiler was in operation during the period under review.

Although production fell, Statistics Botswana says there was no shortfall in supply of coal due to stockpiling. On the other hand, the quarter-on-quarter comparison shows that coal production increased by 20.4 percent compared to the preceding quarter.

Botswana’s flagship coal producer is Morupule Coal Mine; a wholly state owned mining company located in Palapye producing primarily for Botswana Power Corporation (BPC)’s power generation plants Morupule A & B.

The other coal producer is Botswana Stock Exchange listed Minergy which operates a 390 MT Coal Resource mine in Masama near Media in the southwestern edge of the Mmamabula Coalfields.

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Gov’t awards mining licence for Gantsi Copper Mine

14th July 2021
Moagi

Department of Mines in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology & Energy Security has awarded mining licence to Tshukudu Metals-a subsidiary of Aussie firm Sandfire Resources ,giving the company a green light to start piecing the ground at its Motheo Copper Project near Gantsi.

Lefoko Moagi, minister in charge of mineral resources in Botswana confirmed to weekendpost on Tuesday. Minister Moagi revealed that “the licence has been approved , but Sandfire Resources as a listed company will report to its shareholders and investors then make an official public statement” he said.

Based on a forecast copper price of US$3.16/lb (reflecting current long-term consensus pricing) the Base Case 3.2Mtpa – Ghantsi copper project is forecast to generate US$664 million (over P7 billion) in pre-tax free cash-flow and US$987 million (over P10 billion) in EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation), at a forecast all-in sustaining cost of US$1.76/lb over its first 10 years of operations.

In December 2020, the Board of Sandfire Resources approved the commercial development of the Motheo Copper Mine located in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana, marking a key step in its transformation into a global, diversified, and sustainable mining company.

Tshukudu Metals Botswana (Pty) Limited (Tshukudu) a 100% owned subsidiary will be the owner and operator of the Motheo Copper Mine which is scheduled to produce up to 30,000 tonnes per annum of copper in concentrate over a 12 year mine life.TMB is targeting development of its Motheo Copper Mine in 2021 and 2022, with its first production in 2023.

GOVERNMENT NOT TAKING UP 15 % STAKE ON OFFER

Beginning of this year presentations were made to the Department of Mines as part of the Mining Licence approval process and to the Ghanzi Regional Council, additional information was requested by Department of Mines in April and was duly supplied by the company.

As part of the Mining Licence approval process, the Government of Botswana has a right to acquire up to a 15% fully contributing interest in all mining projects locally. Quizzed on whether government through Mineral Development Corporation Botswana (MDCB) would be taking up stake in the project Minister Moagi said, “No consideration is being made on that regard”.

“Government is not considering taking up a stake in the Ghantsi Copper Mine project, every opportunity is assessed on all risks, but Government makes money all the while from leases, taxes and royalties, remember if you take stake you are liable for liabilities of the project as well,” Moagi said.

MINING CONTRACT

Last month Sandfire announced that it has awarded over P5 billion worth mining contract to African Mining Services (AMS), a subsidiary of Perenti, to deliver the open cast operation.

The contract, which has an estimated value of US$496 million (over 5 billion), is the largest single operational contract for the new Motheo Project covering a period of 7 years and 3 months, with provision for a one-year extension.

The contract according to Sandfire Resources was awarded following a competitive 3-stage tender process which saw a number of key factors taken into consideration when selecting the preferred contractor.

These included Citizen Economic Empowerment, safety culture, equipment suitability and availability, commercial terms and identified improvement opportunities. Under the terms of the contract, AMS has agreed to form a 70:30 Joint Venture with a suitable local Botswana partner or partners.

The JV is expected to be finalized ahead of commencement of mining in early 2022. African Mining Services has been operating in Africa for over 30 years. AMS’ parent company, ASX listed diversified mining services group Perenti, already has a presence in Botswana through Barminco, their underground mining division, at the large-scale Khoemacau Copper Mine located 200km north-east of Motheo.

Last month Sandfire executives said the award of the open pit mining contract represents another key milestone in advancing the Motheo Project towards production, with all components of the contract in line with the key parameters outlined in the December 2020 Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).

The company said full-scale construction of the US$279 million (over P 3 billion ) mine development is expected to commence immediately upon receipt of the Mining Licence, with mining scheduled to commence in early 2022 ahead of first production in early 2023. This week Sandfire Resources advertised over 10 positions in calling on applications from geologists, mining engineers and geotechnical engineers.

The Motheo mine has an initial mine life of 12.5 years based on production from the T3 pit. The initial development is expected to generate approximately 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and 600 direct full-time jobs during operations, with at least 95% of the total mine workforce expected to be made of up of Botswana citizens.

Later in the week Sandfire Resources announced in the company website that it has received the licence. Sandfire’s Managing Director and CEO, Mr Karl Simich, said the award of the Mining Licence represented a major milestone that would see a significant increase in construction and development activities on site.

“We are absolutely delighted to now be in a position to move to full-scale construction at Motheo, with our construction crews expected to mobilise to site over the next few days. I would like to thank the Government of Botswana for their support throughout the approvals process, which will see Motheo come on-stream in 2023 as one of very few new copper mines commencing production globally.”

Simich said the project is expected to generate approximately 1,000 jobs during construction and 600 full-time jobs during operations, and represents the foundation for Sandfire’s long-term growth plans in Botswana.

“Our vision is that Motheo will form the centre of a new, long-life copper production hub in in the central portion of the world-class Kalahari Copper Belt, where we hold an extensive ground-holding spanning Botswana and Namibia,” he said.

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