London Stock Exchange (LSE) explorer Botswana Diamonds (BOD)’s operating losses increased by 45 percent last year as the company lamented a lack of investment and an exploration sector which is “out of favour.”
According to BOD financial results for the year ended 30 June 2018 released this week, losses plummeted from P4 233 874 in 2017 to P7 577 267 this current year. One of the things that pumped BOD’s losses and keeping the company on a back-foot is the “impairment of exploration and evaluation assets” charge of P2 444 795, according to the company’s annual results. BOD lost P985 304 on exchange difference on translation of foreign operations when compared to the previous year with a profit of P2 028 160.
A deficit of P8 579 594 compared to P2 204 352 in the previous year was recorded in total comprehensive income. “Despite making progress we have struggled to attract investors. We are not alone. The junior exploration sector is out of favour,” said BOD in its latest financial report.BOD also believes funding is “difficult, expensive and dilutive” due to its share price and those of its peer companies languishing at near the bottom of their price range. BOD’s share price on the London Stock Exchange is currently 0.66 Pounds and has gone done by 2.22 percent.
THE BOTSWANA PROJECTS
BOD operates in three sub- Saharan countries – Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The company said: “Each of the three has different political risk profiles but share one crucial factor – they are geologically favourable for diamonds. We must explore in locations where we can find diamonds. While this seems obvious it is not. Very few places on earth are thought to contain diamond bearing rocks.”
BOD has two ongoing projects in Botswana – Sunland Minerals and Maibwe. The Sunland Minerals was established in 2014 as a 50:50 equal contribution joint venture between BOD and Alrosa, the Russian diamond producer. In this latest endeavor, BOD has vowed to use the latest Alrosa exploration technology with its huge data base and on the ground knowledge. The exploration company’s second project – the Maibwe joint venture has been mired in an ongoing liquidation in Botswana with regards to the ongoing winding up of the copper smelter BCL.
“It should be noted that drilling in the Gope region of the Kalahari on four of the Maibwe licences produced very good results in 2016. Maibwe is a joint venture between BCL, a State owned copper company in Botswana (51 percent), local interests 20 percent and Siseko, a South African company controlled 51 percent by Botswana Diamonds. This means the net interest to Botswana is 15 percent. BCL is in a protracted liquidation. I am pleased to report that progress has been made. BCL has recently produced a prospectus on the Maibwe project in the hope of disposing of their interest. There are pre-emption rights in Maibwe. I hope to report progress to shareholders in the coming months,” said BOD.
The exploration company said over the decades of experience the BOD directors have had success, providing significant returns to investors. BOD had a rare success in diamonds with the discovery and development of the Karowe mine in Botswana – one of the world’s highest per carat value mines.
“We believe that we can reduce the very high risk in exploration by country selection, ground selection and the application of not only the latest exploration technology but also the knowledge, experience and “savvy” of our prospector’s, technicians and management. It remains high risk but we believe that our approach significantly reduces the risk,” said BOD.
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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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.
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.
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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.