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Orapa mine scapegoated as Debswana production slumps

Debswana, the world's leading diamond producer by value and the largest rough diamond producer, is placed on top of the reason why De Beers’ rough diamond production decreased by 14 percent to 7.7 million carats.

Debswana’s South African counterpart De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) is also said to be equally to blame for the decline as rough diamond production continue to plummet. When commenting on Anglo American’s Production Report for the second quarter ended 30 June 2019, Chief Executive Mark Cutifani praised the company’s other products like the iron ore “successful ramp-up” at Minas-Rio Brazil which contributed to the  mining giant’s production going up by 2 percent, nothing positive could be said about diamonds.

According to Cutifani, a “strong performance” at Metallurgical Coal following the longwall moves and plant upgrade work in Q1. Also, the Anglo American CEO said Kumba Iron Ore continues to improve following Q1 production challenges. For De Beers, the 50/50 partner with Botswana government in the Debswana venture, it was not hunky dory in the second quarter of 2019 as production fell. Cutifani’s reason is that, “De Beers, in view of prevailing market conditions, will continue to produce to market demand for the year. “

According to Anglo American, production guidance has been revised downwards to 31 million carats as a careful response to weaker trading conditions. However for Debswana, the main culprit pointed out is the Orapa mine whose plummet in production, “was driven by a decrease at Orapa of 23 percent to 2.5 million carats following a planned plant shut down brought forward from H2 2019, which impacted production in late Q1 and early Q2,” according to Anglo American’s latest production report.

Debswana production decreased by 9 percent to 5.7 million carats and this was due to a decrease at Orapa’s production of 23 percent to 2.5 million carats. In the second quarter of 2018 the whole production for Debswana was 6279 million carats compared to the 5718 million carats of the just ended second quarter of 2019. When pitting the two second quarters head-to-head, a 9 percent decline is realised.

During the beginning of the year, that is the first quarter of 2019, Debswana production was at 5,950 million carats when contrasted to the 5718 million carats recorded in the second quarter of the same year, a shy decline of 4 percent between the two quarters. As if that was not enough, when diving the production into year halves, Debswana recorded 11,668 million carats in this year’s just ended first half compared to the  12,087 million carats scored in the first half of 2018, a  3 percent decline between the two corresponding halves.

A zoom into Orapa, the main culprit of the fall

According to Anglo American, Orapa’s downfall is due to a planned plant shut down brought forward from the second half of 2019, which has impacted production in late first quarter of 2019 and early second quarter of 2019. Orapa constitutes the Orapa Regime which includes Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa.

In 2018, Orapa production fluctuated recording 3254 million carats in the second quarter before hitting a level below of garnering 2556 million carats in the third quarter of the same year. The last quarter of 2018, closing the year down, Orapa recorded an increase from the third quarter of 3,602 million carats.

But 2019 followed with a dim picture as production at Orapa as the mine offering dropped from the previous year, with the first quarter of this year making 2,614 million carats. Orapa mine production continued to fall into the second quarter of the just ended half of 2019 by 2495 million carats, a reflection of 5 percent slump.

When comparing the second quarter of 2018 to this year’s, Orapa mine registered a 23 percent decline. After garnering 3,254 million carats in last year’s second quarter the mine went down in production to 2495 million carats. When coinciding the 2019 first half with the first half of last year, production decreased by 16 percent from 6078 million carats in 2018 first half against 5109 million carats in 2019.  

Jwaneng mine is productive

According to Anglo American, from the second quarter of 2018 production at Jwaneng increased by 7 percent to 3.2 million carats, driven by an increase in tonnes treated. When comparing halves of year 2019 and 2018, production at Jwaneng mine ballooned slightly by 9 percent. In the first half of 2018 the mine registered 6009 million carats before going up in production with 6559 million carats.

Recently, the richest diamond mine in the world, Jwaneng, has been beating its sister mine in terms of production. However a slight decrease of 3 percent was registered from the first quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of the same year, from 3336 million carats in the first quarter of this year to 3223 million carats in the just ended quarter of the same year.

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The Bulb World starts operations in South Africa

8th April 2021

Homegrown LED light manufacturing company, The Bulb World, has kick started operations in South Africa, setting in motion the company’s ambitious continental expansion plans.

The Bulb World, 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, announced last year that it will enter the South African market in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of North West province under the auspices of North West Development Corporation (NWDC).

The company has already secured a deal with South Africa authorities which entails production factory shells and tax incentives arrangements.

The company founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ketshephaone Jacob has also previously stated that the company is looking for just under P50 million to finance its expansion strategy and is reaching out to institutional investors such as Botswana Public Officers Pensioners Fund (BPOPF) and government investment arm, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC).

However, Jacob told WeekendPost that instead of sitting and waiting for expansion funding the company has started hitting the ground running.

“We have decided to get in the streets of SA, start selling lights from door to door, ” said Jacob who is in currently in Rusternburg to oversee the introduction of The Bulb World products in the market.

Jacob explained more brand activations will be undertaken in South Africa. “The plan is to do it the whole of North West and Limpopo province, through hawkers, we give the hawkers the lights to sell at a factory price and they put a mark up and make a living,” he said.

The Bulb World operates from Selibe Phikwe, it currently employees 65 young people, 80 % of which are Phikwe youth. The company plans to add 100 jobs this year alone as it forges ahead with its regional and continental expansion plans.

In July this year Bulb World products will hit South African Shelves:  Pick n Pay, Checkers and Africa’s largest retailer Shoprite.

The Bulb World has been registered as a company in South Africa; the company will start producing lights from Mogwasa after striking a special economic zones deal with North West Development Corporation in North West Province South Africa.

“Over the next 10 years we are looking to create over 5,000 jobs in Africa. Through our expansion into all of Africa we will be able to create employment for various individuals in different sectors namely; manufacturing, distribution electronics and retail,” Jacob told this publication earlier this year.

Jacob said if all goes well, the plan is to have taken over Africa or rather penetrated, and have prevalent presence in the African market.

“We are gunning to have at least 30 percent market share by then. According to a 2016 Market Survey, the total valuation of sales for LED Lighting was 57BN, a portion of which we plan to have taken over by then,” he said.


While the company has set its eyes on Africa, Jacob said, the company has not fully exploited its local growth, indicating that there could be strategic factories built to supply neighbouring countries of Angola and Zimbabwe.

“There is potential for further local expansion as well to other areas of Botswana if things run smoothly as anticipated. Hopefully in the long-term if our fellow Africans and all these markets receive us well we are planning to build another factory,” he said.

“We are looking to build another factory in the Chobe/Ngamiland Area that will give priority to markets in Zimbabwe and Angola,” he said

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‘Oil exploration will have minimal impact’

30th March 2021

The Maun based Okavango Research Institute (ORI) has downplayed the impacts of oil and gas exploration in part of Okavango delta arguing that given the distance proposed the likelihoods of negative impacts drilling these exploration wells on the surface water systems is likely to be negligible.

The Institution released a position paper titled ‘Proposed Petroleum (Oil and Gas) Exploration Operations in the Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) No. 73,’ with findings stating that, in the event of discovery of economically viable hydrocarbon deposits, much more careful consideration of the impacts and economic benefits of development of the resource will be needed.

For example, the fracking process for gas and oil extraction is known to require large volumes of underground water.

It further argues that increased extraction of the underground water is likely to affect the water table level and further affect the overall water availability in the river-basin.

“The effect on water availability and use may become worse if surface water is reticulated or sourced by any means from the Kavango River. Should the exploration and fracking for oil and gas expand to Block 1720, 1721 and 1821, the impact on water availability and quality will be significant, especially if the wastewater is not well managed,” said the paper.

The research unit recommends close communication between the relevant Basin State Ministries (Mineral Resources, Environment) and the Permanent Commission on the Okavango River Basin, OKACOM, and other stakeholders must be facilitated.

This will facilitate sharing of the correct information on the desired intentions of the basin states and compromises sought for the sustainability of the ecosystems in the downstream of the Cubango-Okavango river Basin, states the position paper.

ORI as a key stakeholder with scientific information says it is positioned to provide scientific advice and guidance to decision-makers on the potential impacts of both exploration and development and operation activities.

It also recommends that while the impacts might be minimal at the exploration stage, environmental impacts during the development and extraction process are significant.

Findings also state that the SADC Protocol places a mandatory duty to make a notification of planned measures undertaken in any riparian state in cases where such measures hold the potential to cause ‘significant adverse effects.’

It further states that where the planned development is trivial and not expected to cause any significant harm, the development state is not under duty to notify other riparian states.

Given that the drilling in the Kavango Region in Nambia is merely for exploratory purpose and the possibility of harm is minor, it is therefore not surprising that the Namibian government did not inform Botswana.

However, should it be found that the oil can be profitably or economically exploited, the Namibian government would be under a duty to notify both Angola and Botswana.

The institution further states that to ensure sustainable development in the Okavango Delta the following in the context of exploration for and potential development of hydrocarbon deposits within the Cubango-Okavango River Basin, it must be considered that the Okavango Delta is a World Heritage Site listed in 2014 by UNESCO and one of the binding requirements of the listing is the non-permissible commercial mining of any mineral, gas or oil within the World Heritage Site.

It states that the Okavango Delta is also a RAMSAR site in which mining is not allowed.

Should the exploration for minerals, oil and gas be allowed, there is a high chance that a mineral, oil or gas may be found given that the Delta is sitting on karoo sediments and shale rocks which in other parts of the world have been found to be sources of oil and gas deposits. Should oil or gas be discovered, there will be a strong socio-economic pressure to mine oil or gas and create jobs for the masses.

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Pakmaya yeast penetrates local market

30th March 2021
Pakmaya Africa Sales Manager: Cem Perdar

Manufactured in Turkey, Pakmaya Instant Dry Yeast can be used in the production of various fermented products, as it is suited for both traditional and industrial baking processes. All kinds of breads, buns and fermented pastry products are typical examples of applications.

Pakmaya Africa Sales Manager Cem Perdar says Pakmaya has 4 plants in across the world, further indicating that all of the plants have the highest standards of quality certificates and approvals. Regarding raw material, molasses is the main ingredient for yeast. Concerning production activities, yeast manufacturing requires high know-how and capability. Pakmaya has all those capabilities and aspects more than 45 years.

According to Perdar, Pakmaya has been existent in African markets since 30 years. From South to North, Central to East and West, a consumer can find Pakmaya in nearly every part of Africa continent.

“With its high quality, rich product selection and good service, our brand has become the favorite yeast of many Africans. On the other hand, our distributors in African countries are working very hardly and loyally in order to promote our products in their markets. After some time, we are becoming like families with our exclusive distributors in Africa and this enables both parts to work harder and keeps our product sustainable in market,” he said in an interview this week.

The yeast manufacturing giant made its way to Botswana market. The company has been smoothly working with Kamoso Distribution, a local distribution company. Perdar told BusinessPost that two entities have been working hard to earn is market locally.

“At the moment we have a good market share with them in Botswana market. I’m sure during 2021 long, we will be increasing our sales and market position. Soon we are going to start a marketing campaign in Botswana, so that means Batswana will see and recognize Pakmaya more and more. Pakmaya wants to be the best friend of bakers in bakeries and ladies at homes in Botswana.”

As per global COVID-19 regulations to curb the spread of the COVID-19, Botswana just like other country closed borders. Providentially, the restrictions did not affect the company destructively.

Perdar says “Kamoso Africa is a very important and strong partner in Botswana territory. With Kamoso’s hard work and strict measurements, we have done a very good job. So as Pakmaya, we have not suffered any distribution problem. Our partner is doing the needful at the reaching our products to end users.”

He further said “We are doing well in Botswana market and hoping to make much more. Our aim is to enter every single corner in Botswana territory. With our new marketing campaigns, we are planning to be the most preferred yeast in Botswana market.”

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