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Ausdrill secures P6.5 billion contract from Khoemacau

Ausdrill Ltd, a mining services company from Australia has announced that its subsidiary, Barminco Holdings Pty Limited has won a five year underground mining services contract from Khoemacau Copper Mine worth about A$800 million ($554.56 million).

The company on Monday revealed that it will start providing mining services this December at Khoemacau's Zone 5 mine in the Kalahari copper belt. The company will be responsible for mine development, underground mine infrastructure establishment, and diamond drilling programmes. The scope of the contract also reportedly covers an initial mine production at the rate of 3.6million tonnes per annum of copper ore with further expansion opportunities.

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi will on Friday 28th perform ground breaking at the mine which is situated near Toteng village in the North West District. The company says the ceremony will mark the official launch of the mine and also provide an opportunity for Khoemacau to give an update of the mine project progress status to the president and other dignitaries.

Khoemacau which is a subsidiary of a US based company, Cupric Canyon Capital, early this year secured $565 million (about 6 billion Pula) in debt and royalty funding to help fund the Zone 5 starter project. The funds included a $275m senior debt facility from Red Kite Mine Finance, a $265m silver stream and a $25m subordinated debt facility from Royal Gold’s wholly owned subsidiary RG AG.  

The first copper concentrate production from the mine is expected in the first half of 2021. Its initial annual production will be about 62,000 tonnes of copper and 1.9 million ounces of silver with an anticipated increased annual production of over 100,000 tonnes of copper and three million ounces of silver. Khoemacau has indicated that its mining operations will be highly merchandised and run in an efficient, flexible and sustainable manner as opposed to the more labour intensive mining.

The company's Executive Director, Boikobo Paya has recently indicated that they expect to employ close to 1400 people during construction. Khoemacau is hoped to bring back the confidence of the mining sector in the country which has suffered a setback in recent past.
Botswana’s mining sector has seen the closure of BCL Mine in 2016 and also the Boseto Copper Mine which was operated by Discovery Metals. Khoemacau acquired Boseto Mine in 2015.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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